NEB approves Keystone Pipeline Project



    CALGARY, Sept. 20 /CNW/ - The National Energy Board has approved the
TransCanada Keystone Pipeline GP Ltd. application to construct and operate the
Canadian portion of the Keystone pipeline project which would transport
435,000 barrels per day of crude oil.
    The Keystone pipeline project is a crude oil line that would run from
Alberta to markets in Illinois. The Canadian portion of the line would extend
from Hardisty, Alberta to a point near Haskett, Manitoba. The project involves
the acquisition and conversion of 864 kilometres (km) of existing gas pipeline
to an oil transmission pipeline. Approximately 371 km of new pipeline would be
constructed as part of the project, as well as the construction and operation
of pump stations, tanks and other related works and activities. The estimated
cost of the project is $664 million.
    In making its decision, the Board was presented with evidence from
intervenors on many issues including impacts to Aboriginal peoples and the
impact of the project on domestic interests. Both the Alberta Federation of
Labour and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
presented evidence that the project would have negative consequences for
domestic industries, employment and security of supply. Through examination of
the evidence, the Board found that the project's benefits outweighed its
burdens.
    "The Board concludes that approval of the Project is in the public
interest and that the applied for facilities will be required for the present
and future public convenience and necessity," said the Board in the Reasons
for Decision.
    The Board held a technical conference during the hearing to obtain
further information on and understanding of engineering matters such as
construction, change in service, pipeline operations and integrity management
systems. One of the issues brought forward at the conference was the
conversion of TransCanada's Mainline (Line 100-1) from natural gas to oil
transmission. The line runs 864 km from Burstall, Saskatchewan to Carman,
Manitoba. The Board was interested in ensuring the safe operation of the
pipeline and therefore has set conditions specifically related to Line 100-1.

    The NEB is an independent federal agency that regulates parts of Canada's
energy industry. Its purpose is to promote safety and security, environmental
protection, and efficient energy infrastructure and markets in the Canadian
public interest, within the mandate set by Parliament in the regulation of
pipelines, energy development and trade.

    This news release and the Reasons for Decision are available on the
    Board's website at www.neb-one.gc.ca under What's New!





For further information:

For further information: Kristen Higgins, Communications Officer, Email:
khiggins@neb-one.gc.ca, Telephone: (403) 299-3371; For a copy of Reasons for
Decision: National Energy Board, Publications, Ground Floor, 444 Seventh
Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 0X8, Telephone: (403) 299-3561, Telephone
(toll free): 1-800-899-1265, Telecopier: (403) 292-5576, Telecopier (toll
free): 1-877-288-8803, E-mail: library@neb-one.gc.ca


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