A $500-million natural gas pipeline expansion project planned in Clearwater County is expected to generate nearly 1,500 jobs, says Nova Gas Transmission Ltd.
The company has begun the approval process for 40- and 45-kilometre sections of pipeline southwest of Rocky Mountain House.
Additional pipeline is needed to increase the capacity of the company’s network of pipelines to carry natural gas from the Peace River area to central Alberta.
Nova hopes to have the $509-million project done by 2022.
An economic analysis prepared by Stantec Consulting Ltd. projects the expansion will boost the province’s gross domestic product by $130 million. When indirect benefits are factored in, $285 million in GDP and $175 million in wages are projected.
About 1,470 full-time jobs could be created.
For Clearwater County and Yellowhead County, the expansion will provide an additional $740,000 in annual property taxes.
Nova has also committed to working with Aboriginal groups to encourage the participation of First Nations workers and businesses, says the company in its application.
Sunchild and O’Chiese First Nations are located relatively close to the two pipeline sections, but other First Nations have also been in contact with the company.
Construction is expected to begin in early 2021.
Most construction will take place during the winter to take advantage of the frozen ground, which makes it easier to get to and work along the pipeline right-of-ways.
Winter construction also includes environmental benefits, such as minimizing work during migratory bird nesting periods.
Those interested in participating in the hearing process have until July 5 to apply online at www.neb-one.gc.ca.
To participate in the hearing, eligible groups can apply for up to $40,000 in funding and individuals up to $6,000.