October 31, 2016 3:10 pm

Federal government approves $1.3B Nova natural gas system expansion in Alberta

TransCanada's Keystone pipeline facility is seen in Hardisty, Alta.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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CALGARY – The federal government has conditionally approved an expansion of TransCanada’s Nova Gas Transmission gathering system in northern Alberta.

The decision includes 36 binding conditions as set out by the National Energy Board in its recommendation for approval in June.

READ MORE: NEB recommends approval for expansion of TransCanada’s Alberta natural gas system 

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Five of the conditions concern protection and restoration of caribou habitat as the project would run through three boreal woodland caribou ranges.

Natural Resources Canada says it expects the $1.3-billion project to create up to 3,000 jobs during construction.

READ MORE: Pipeline review process should focus on safety and spill response says TransCanada CEO

TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard says the company expects the first part of the expansion of the natural gas system to be ready for service next spring and the entire project to be completed by the second quarter of 2018.

The NEB recommendation in June included 12 additional conditions related to temporary infrastructure, such as access roads and construction camps.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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