Proposed route for Spectra Energy gas pipeline.

Gas pipeline to run a northern route

A Spectra Energy representative talked to Houston council last week about plans to build a gas pipeline from Cypress to Prince Rupert.

A Spectra Energy representative talked to Houston council last week Tuesday about plans to build a gas pipeline from Cypress, near Fort St. John, to Prince Rupert.

In partnership with BG Group, a leading player the global energy market, Spectra Energy plans to build an 850-kilometre gas pipeline on a proposed route farther north than Enbridge, said Kristen Rock, Spectra community and aboriginal relations coordinator for the Smithers area.

Spectra’s route runs west in line with MacKenzie and then south to Prince Rupert from the Kitsault area, and Rock says TransCanada is talking about following their route.

She says the route was developed by engineers after more than a year of land assessments, considering environmental, historical, cultural and constructability factors.

Asked by Mayor Bill Holmberg about the timeline of the project, Rock said that if everything moves through, they hope to start construction 2016 and have gas flowing 2019 or 2020.

She says Spectra Energy has a 55 year history in B.C. and handles about 60 per cent of all the natural gas that moves in B.C. with pipelines running from Fort Nelson to Vancouver.

Rock says safety is their top priority: they’ll have 24/7 monitoring, the pipelines will have automated leak detection alarms and shut down systems and route aerial, road and foot patrols.

Pipelines are also resistant to earth vibrations and does not cross any known faults, Rock said.