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Enbridge proposes Sunrise Expansion Project in Cariboo, north

Embridge's Westcoast Energy Inc. has officially applied with the Canadian Energy Regulator to begin work on the Sunrise Expansion Project

Enbridge's Westcoast Energy Inc. has officially applied with the Canadian Energy Regulator to begin work on the Sunrise Expansion Project which promises to bring more jobs and tax dollars to the region in the coming years.

As part of this project, Enbridge will be expanding the southern parts of their natural gas pipelines in the north and near Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and Green Lake. This project is expected to add a total of 32.1 kilometres of 42-inch diameter pipeline loops throughout the Cariboo Regional District.

“For almost 70 years, our natural gas pipeline system in B.C. has been transporting natural gas to communities in the region and beyond," Ali Hendi, Enbridge's major projects manager, said. "This project is a continuation of our commitment to deliver the energy people need and use every day.”

Rawnna Low, Enbridge's senior communications advisor, said the portion of the project taking place in the Cariboo Regional District CRD will consist of adding six kilometres of pipeline to compressor station 6A near 150 Mile House, 5.7 kilometres of pipeline to compressor station 6B south of 100 Mile House and 20.4 kilometres of pipeline to their existing loop south of Green Lake.

An additional electric-powered compressor unit is proposed to be installed at CS-6B. Row said that to power this unit Enbridge will build around seven kilometres of overhead power lines. She added that using electricity will help prevent 145,000 tones of carbon dioxide emissions every year, or the equivalent of removing 40,000 cars from the road. 

During peak construction, she anticipates 600 workers being employed to complete the pipeline work and over 200 to complete the compressor station work. Low noted that over $1.3-million is expected to be paid in municipal property tax to the CRD over a 35-year period as a result of this expansion. 

“If approved, construction of this project will bring jobs and economic benefits to local communities and businesses," Hendi said. 

In the Regional District of Fraser Fort George, the Sunrise Expansion Project involves adding pipeline loops, which are sections of the pipe added to the existing pipeline system to increase capacity. Upgrades to existing compressor stations are also proposed, to help push the additional natural gas through the pipeline system.

A total of 77 kilometres (km) of 42-inch diameter pipeline loops are proposed for five different locations in the Regional District of Fraser Fort George.

That project includes about 18 km from north of Kennedy, B.C. to compressor station 3, north of MacLeod Lake, 13.6 km from south of MacLeod Lake to north of Summit Lake, 19.7 km from compressor station 4A, east of Summit Lake, to north of Salmon Valley, 4.8 km from north of Woodpecker to compressor station 4B (CS-4B), north of Hixon and 20.9 km from CS-4B to south of Hixon.

“We are excited to continue to work with the local communities and Indigenous groups as we move forward with the Sunrise Expansion Program (Project)," Hendi remarked. "Their input and feedback have been used to design and make this project better.”

With their application now officially submitted to the CER, Enbridge awaits the agency's own regulatory review which will include more public consultations and hearings. If approved they hope to begin construction by the second quarter of 2026 and have the project completed by the end of 2028.

At a public information session hosted by the CER in 100 Mile House in April, CER representatives told the community their regulatory review can take up to 450 days after initiated. 

Patrick Davies

About the Author: Patrick Davies

An avid lover of theatre, media, and the arts in all its forms, I've enjoyed building my professional reputation in 100 Mile House.
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