Enbridge gets approval to upgrade Toronto area natural gas distribution system

TORONTO – Enbridge (TSX:ENB) says it has received approval from the Ontario Energy Board to upgrade the backbone of its natural gas distribution system in the Greater Toronto Area.

The GTA Project will provide upgrades to the natural gas distribution system that supplies natural gas to Brampton, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Markham and Toronto.

“We are pleased with the OEB’s decision today as we believe this project will provide significant benefit to . . . customers,” said Glenn Beaumont, president of Enbridge Gas Distribution.

The project is designed to serve growth in the GTA, allow for continued system reliability and provide access to lower cost natural gas supply.”

Enbridge Gas Distribution’s GTA system has not had a major upgrade for 20 years and in that time, the total number of Enbridge customers has doubled from 1.1 million in 1992 to two million, the company said in a release Thursday.

The GTA Project has the potential to provide access to lower cost natural gas supply for the rest of Ontario and Quebec in conjunction with a co-ordinated infrastructure build by Union Gas and TransCanada Pipelines.

Construction is expected to begin in late 2014 and finish in October 2015.

The new pipeline will be comprised of two separate segments and will be located mainly in existing utility corridors to minimize disruption in the community, the company said.

Segment A will be a 42-inch diameter pipeline that will be located within a designated utility corridor immediately south of Highway 407. It will travel from Parkway West at Derry Road and Highway 407, approximately 27 kilometres northeast to the existing Albion Station.

Segment B will be a 36-inch diameter pipeline that will begin in an existing utility corridor in the City of Vaughan at Keele Street, just south of Highway 407.

The pipe will travel about 23 kilometres in total, east past Highway 404 to between Victoria Park and Warden Avenue, and then turn south and travel within a utility corridor to Sheppard Avenue East in the City of Toronto.

Two new pressure regulation facilities will connect the new pipelines to the existing system.

There will also be an upgrade made to an existing pressure regulation facility at Jonesville Station, located just north of Eglinton Avenue East near Jonesville Crescent.