AER approves 84 of 90 Grand Rapids pipeline applications

Alberta Energy Regulator reported it has approved, with 26 conditions, “the majority” of applications by Grand Rapids Pipeline GP Ltd. to construct two pipelines carrying diluted bitumen and hydrocarbon diluents (OGJ Online, Oct. 29, 2012).

The 460-km lines are anticipated to carry 900,000 b/d of diluted bitumen from the Fort MacKay terminal to the Edmonton area and 330,000 b/d of hydrocarbon diluents from the Edmonton area to the Fort MacKay terminal.

The project includes two 4-km lateral pipelines, three pump stations, and two tank terminals with a combined storage of 1 million bbl, AER said.

AER said it considered 90 applications, including seven under the Pipeline Act, 79 under the Public Lands Act, and four under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. Eighty-four of the 90 were approved.

The approvals follow public hearings in June and July with submissions from 12 participants. AER had earlier received “a number of statements of concern.”

AER said several conditions are related to two sections that traverse lands within Strathcona County’s Heavy Industrial Policy Area and lands within and immediately adjacent to the City of Fort Saskatchewan. Grand Rapids is not permitted to construct these segments of the line, which account for about 5% of the proposed route, “unless it satisfies the panel that the applied-for route is the best route.”

AER also found that Grand Rapids did not demonstrate a need for the Saleski Terminal “at this time.” The remaining conditions address issues raised by landowners along the project route.

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