Enbridge project points the way forward for Indigenous communities and resource companies
Line 3 replacement pipeline entering service in Canada
After several years of hard work, culminating in an even safer pipeline, commercial agreement represents a 'major milestone' for Enbridge
By any stretch of the imagination, replacing the Line 3 pipeline in Canada was a monumental undertaking successfully executed in the field over four seasons by a peak construction workforce of about 5,300 workers, including a large component of Indigenous men and women.
New 36-inch-diameter steel pipe milled in Regina and Camrose, 1,070 kilometres of it, joined by nearly 50,000 welds and stretching across the vast Canadian prairie from Hardisty, Alberta to Gretna, Manitoba.
Three new storage tanks, ready to be filled to a capacity of almost 1 million barrels of Canadian crude at Enbridge’s Hardisty Terminal; from there and further downstream along the pipeline right-of-way, 18 new pump stations to keep the oil flowing past villages and hamlets like Metiskow, Langbank and St. Leon.
Now, as final restoration proceeds along parts of the construction right-of-way, Enbridge has announced an agreement with shippers that the new pipeline will be brought into commercial service by the end of this year.
“We are always talking to our customers to determine their transportation needs and how we can meet those needs by optimizing our pipeline systems, so reaching a commercial agreement is a major milestone for Enbridge,” explains Chad Dechaine, Director, Business Development and Asset Performance.
“Bringing this line into service in Canada represents the culmination of several years of hard work by thousands of Enbridge employees and contractors—and we wouldn’t be here without the strong support of landowners, municipalities and Indigenous communities,” adds Guy Krepps, Director, Major Projects Execution. “We’re very grateful for that support.”
The Line 3 replacement pipeline and related facilities were engineered and built with the newest and most advanced pipeline technology, using the latest in construction methods. As a result, it offers enhanced safety and reliability in addition to being more energy efficient.
“In Wisconsin and now Canada, we’ve replaced Line 3 with new steel pipe and await final permitting to begin construction in Minnesota,” Krepps says. “By bringing the Wisconsin segment and now the Canadian segment into service, the number of preventative maintenance digs that would have been required will be significantly reduced, resulting in fewer disruptions to communities, landowners and the environment.”
The 14-mile (22.5 km) Wisconsin segment was connected to the Minnesota Line 3 and has been operating since May 2018.