Enbridge Inc. and Enbridge Energy Partners L.P. said that they have received industry support to proceed with construction of two projects as additions to the Enbridge common carrier mainline system. These projects are the US$2 billion (2006 dollars) Alberta Clipper Project, which Enbridge initially introduced in February 2006, and the Cdn$0.3 billion Line 4 Extension Project.
During the first quarter of 2007, Enbridge and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers will undertake discussions to finalize the scope, timing, ratemaking parameters and performance incentives of these projects. The projects remain subject to approvals by the Boards of Directors of Enbridge and Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP), as well as receipt of various regulatory approvals and permits in both Canada and the United States. Anticipated in-service timing for the Line 4 Extension is late 2008, and for Alberta Clipper is late 2009 to mid-2010, subject to finalization of industry's preference. To achieve this timing, Enbridge will immediately commence long lead time activities, such as finalizing steel pipe commitments, public consultation, preparatory work for right-of-way and working space access agreements and permits.
The Alberta Clipper Project involves the construction of a new 36-inch diameter 990-mile (1590-kilometer) crude line from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin, primarily following Enbridge's existing right-of-way. Initial capacity will be 450,000 barrels per day, with ultimate capacity available of up to 800,000 barrels per day. To balance the increased capacity into Superior, a low cost expansion of the 42-inch Southern Access line to Chicago will be undertaken at an estimated cost of approximately US$0.1 billion. The Southern Access project is being developed in two stages providing 146,000 barrels per day by the first quarter 2008 and another 254,000 barrels per day by the first quarter of 2009. Southern Access is expandable to 1,200,000 barrels per day with expansions timed concurrently with the Alberta Clipper project. The Canadian segment of Alberta Clipper is expected to cost approximately Cdn$1.5 billion and the U.S. segment, to be undertaken by EEP, is expected to cost approximately US$0.8 billion.
Enbridge's Line 4 Extension Project is designed to eliminate a potential capacity bottleneck on the mainline system between Edmonton, Alberta and Hardisty, Alberta. The project involves the construction of 85 miles (136 kilometers) of 36-inch segments that will connect existing idle 48-inch pipe segments between Edmonton and Hardisty and move the origination point of Enbridge's current highest capacity line, Line 4, from Hardisty back to Edmonton. The capacity of the Line 4 Extension will be 880,000 barrels per day to match current Line 4 capacity.
The Alberta Clipper Project and the Line 4 Extension will be integrated with, and form part of the existing Enbridge system in Canada, and the EEP Lakehead system in the U.S.
Patrick D. Daniel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enbridge commented:
"The Alberta Clipper Project is the latest in a suite of alternatives that Enbridge has under development to create value for producers and our shippers as Western Canadian oil sands production expands and seeks new markets. Because of its integration with our existing mainline system and the on-going Southern Access project, Alberta Clipper provides a low cost solution for up to 800,000 barrels per day of the expected production growth, with relatively low execution risk. The addition of a full new line will provide both a significant increase in capacity and also increased flexibility to align the system with a range of synthetic crude and blended bitumen production slates. The timing has been accelerated to respond to shipper priorities for increased access to U.S. markets, reflecting recently announced U.S. refiner initiatives to invest in capability to process more Canadian crude, which will benefit both Canadian producers and U.S. consumers.
"Alberta Clipper will be our largest project ever, and one we are well prepared to successfully build. We have entered into standby arrangements with a variety of material suppliers and contractors to ensure availability of resources at reasonable cost, as well as building up our own internal staff and project management processes."
Enbridge Inc., a Canadian company, is a leader in energy transportation and distribution in North America and internationally. As a transporter of energy, Enbridge operates, in Canada and the United States, the world's longest crude oil and liquids pipeline system. The Company also has international operations and a growing involvement in the natural gas transmission and midstream businesses. As a distributor of energy, Enbridge owns and operates Canada's largest natural gas distribution company, and provides distribution services in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York State. Enbridge employs approximately 5,000 people, primarily in Canada, the United States and South America.