QUEBEC, Oct. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Ultramar Ltd. is pleased that the Quebec government has adopted the decree authorizing the Pipeline Saint-Laurent project under the terms of the Environment Quality Act for 28 of the 32 municipalities located in the pipeline's implementation corridor.
"This is a crucial step towards the construction of a pipeline between our Lévis and Montreal East facilities. Although certain steps remain, including obtaining authorization certificates from the Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks (MDDEP) as well as construction permits from all applicable authorities (federal, provincial, municipal, public utilities and railroad companies), we can now say that this is a clear signal which brings us close to the construction phase of the project, expected to begin in 2010", stated Mr. Louis Bergeron, Director, Business Development and Terminal Management, at Ultramar and Manager of the Pipeline Saint-Laurent project.
The decree illustrates that Ultramar has met the environmental requirements for the project and gives evidence of its purpose. The $300 million project will allow to substantially reduce the number of trains circulating in the Lévis-Montreal corridor, resulting in significant gains in terms of environment as well as security, both for the population and supplies. "This project has an impact well beyond our company, as it will be a major factor in ensuring Quebec's energy security by allowing Ultramar to better secure its product deliveries to the Montreal region, while providing uninterrupted supplies during the winter. This new means of transportation which is safe, clean, reliable and efficient will also allow to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30,000 tons annually," added Mr. Bergeron.
This pipeline project is clearly an addition which is beneficial in the context of a sustainable development strategy. Although its economic impact and environmental benefits are obvious, the company worked hard to obtain support from the various communities concerned by the project. Ultramar successfully went through the entire regulatory process required by government authorities, including with the environmental public hearings bureau (BAPE) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Numerous consultation and information sessions were also held to explain the project adequately to the various stakeholders involved. It is also worth mentioning that the Quebec agricultural land protection commission (CPTAQ) gave its approval for 95 % of the pipeline's route and that agreements were concluded with the Union of agricultural producers (UPA) and with 74 % of landowners concerned by the project.
Work is also continuing towards completing the adoption of the pipeline's definitive route. The CPTAQ must soon proceed with the analysis of the matter for the territories of three municipalities: St-Marc-sur-le-Richelieu, St-Charles-sur-le-Richelieu and St-Mathieu-de-Beloeil. Furthermore, the Quebec administrative tribunal must review an appeal regarding the CPTAQ decision concerning the pipeline route on the City of Lévis territory.
"We have done what was required and we remain committed to developing the best project possible that meets the requirements of sustainable development in all aspects. This decree gives us the required momentum to move forward and we are very enthusiastic about the idea of building this pipeline. We realize that some steps and requirements still remain but we will continue to work in good faith and with transparency, including with landowners with whom agreements have not been concluded, with due respect to the individuals concerned and the applicable laws and regulations" concluded Louis Bergeron.
About Ultramar Ltd.
Ultramar Ltd., a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corporation (VLO on the New York Stock Exchange), owns and operates a refinery, whose current production capacity is 265,000 barrels of oil per day, at Lévis (Saint-Romuald), near Quebec City. It markets gasoline and diesel fuel to a large group of industrial and wholesale customers and via a network of some 830 service stations and convenience stores and 85 cardlocks, in addition to selling home heating oil to about 140,000 customers. Headquartered in Montreal, Ultramar employs over 3,700 persons and its refining, distribution and retail sales networks contribute to supporting more than 10,000 jobs, making it one of the largest employers in Eastern Canada. For more information on Ultramar, visit the Company's website at http://www.ultramar.ca.
SOURCE ULTRAMAR LTD.
For further information: For further information: Louis Forget, Vice President, Public and Government Affairs, Ultramar Ltd., (418) 835-8001, (514) 499-6442, Cell phone: (514) 386-7395