MONTRÉAL, Jan. 7, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Gaz Métro is satisfied with the opinion delivered by the Régie de l'énergie on the required natural gas supply and transportation to meet the medium- and long-term natural gas needs of Québec consumers. In fact, the opinion echoes the positions expressed by Gaz Métro, in terms of both the role natural gas plays in Québec's sustainable economic development and the potential impacts of the Energy East project on the natural gas supply, including the cost during peak demand periods in Québec.
The Régie expects moderate growth in the consumption of natural gas as well as sufficient availability of the natural gas supply, but sees an issue with regard to the availability of transportation infrastructures to deliver natural gas from production sites to consumption markets.
As also expressed by Ontario and Québec gas distributors, the Régie is of the opinion that the North Bay-Ottawa section is being used to full capacity during peak demand periods, that the capacity removed by the Energy East project must be replaced and that a more thorough needs assessment must be carried out by TransCanada Pipelines.
Gaz Métro is not opposed to the conversion of under-utilized natural gas transportation assets into oil transportation assets, as is the case in the Prairies and in Northern Ontario. However, for the North Bay-Ottawa section, TransCanada Pipelines must ensure that the replacement capacity is sufficient to meet the needs of gas consumers.
The Régie concludes that the Energy East project is first and foremost designed for the benefit of oil shippers and, consequently, Québec gas consumers should not cross-subsidize the oil component of the project. The Régie is therefore of the opinion that the project must be reviewed to avoid negative impacts for Québec natural gas consumers.
"We are pleased that the Régie de l'énergie shares most of our concerns regarding the Energy East project and its impact on natural gas customers in Québec," says Stéphanie Trudeau, Vice President, Strategy, Communication and Sustainability at Gaz Métro. "Access to natural gas is a decisive factor in economic growth and a necessary condition for the improvement of Québec's environmental footprint."
It should be noted that the contribution of natural gas to Québec's sustainable economic development struck a chord with the government, as reflected in the last provincial budget and the recently announced partnership aimed at providing regions remote from the gas network and the road and maritime transport industry with access to a greater quantity of liquefied natural gas.
About Gaz Métro
With more than $6 billion in assets, Gaz Métro is a leading energy provider. It is the largest natural gas distribution company in Quebec, where its network of over 10,000 km of underground pipelines serves 300 municipalities and more than 195,000 customers. Gaz Métro is also present in Vermont, producing electricity and distributing electricity and natural gas to meet the needs of more than 305,000 customers. Gaz Métro is actively involved in the development and operation of innovative, promising energy projects such as the production of wind power, the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel and the development of biomethane. Gaz Métro is a major energy sector player that takes the lead in responding to the needs of its customers, regions and municipalities, local organizations and communities while also satisfying the expectations of its Partners (Gaz Métro inc. and Valener) and employees. www.gazmetro.com
SOURCE Gaz Métro
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