Vol. 148, No. 51 — December 20, 2014
ORDERS IN COUNCIL
NATIONAL ENERGY BOARD
NATIONAL ENERGY BOARD ACT
Order — Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity GC-123 to NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd., in respect of the Integration Asset Transfer Project
P.C. 2014-1472 December 12, 2014
Whereas on November 12, 2013, NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (“NGTL”) applied to the National Energy Board (“Board”) pursuant to section 52 of the National Energy Board Act (“NEB Act”) for a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing NGTL to operate approximately 1,249 kilometres of pipeline and associated facilities transferred to it from ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd.;
Whereas the Board reviewed NGTL’s application and conducted an environmental assessment of the Integration Asset Transfer Project under the NEB Act;
Whereas, on October 16, 2014, the Board submitted its report entitled NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. GH-002-2014, dated October 2014, on the Integration Asset Transfer Project, to the Minister of Natural Resources;
Whereas the Governor in Council accepts the Board’s finding that the Integration Asset Transfer Project, if operated in full compliance with the terms and conditions set out in Appendix II of the Board’s Report, is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects and will be required by the present and future public convenience and necessity;
And whereas the Governor in Council considers that the Integration Asset Transfer Project would reduce the overlap of resources and generate efficiencies;
Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Natural Resources, pursuant to section 54 of the National Energy Board Act, directs the National Energy Board to issue Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity GC-123 to NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd., in respect of the Integration Asset Transfer Project, subject to the terms and conditions set out in Appendix II of the National Energy Board Report dated October 2014.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
Proposal and objective
NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL), a federally regulated company, has requested Governor in Council approval to exchange pipeline and other related facilities with ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd. (ATCO), a provincially regulated company. The transfer of assets will help achieve cost, operational and other efficiencies.
Two orders are required. The first seeks a Governor in Council decision to direct the National Energy Board (the Board) to issue Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (Certificate) GC-123 to NGTL for the ATCO transferred pipelines, pursuant to section 54 of the National Energy Board Act (the Act). The second seeks Governor in Council approval to vary Certificate GC-113, currently held by NGTL, removing the pipeline assets that NGTL is transferring to ATCO, pursuant to subsection 21(2) of the Act.
The asset transfer is the final part of an April 7, 2009, agreement between NGTL and ATCO to integrate their natural gas pipeline systems. Under the agreement, the two companies arranged to combine their physical assets under a single rates and services structure with a single commercial interface with customers, but with each company separately managing assets within distinct operating territories throughout Alberta. Following regulatory approvals, commercial integration of the systems became effective in October 2011.
On November 12, 2013, NGTL applied to the Board to exchange the following assets with ATCO:
- ATCO to NGTL: 1 249 km of natural gas pipeline, 1 compressor station and 30 metering facilities (11 delivery and 19 receipt meter stations); and
- NGTL to ATCO: 1 418 km of natural gas pipeline and 120 metering facilities (31 delivery and 89 receipt meter stations).
On October 16, 2014, the Board approved the purchase by NGTL of the ATCO transferred assets, pursuant to paragraph 74(1)(b) of the NEB Act.
One Certificate will be issued for the Project; however, the assets will be transferred in four separate closings. This approach will accommodate the number of assets involved and the field work required to complete the transfer of ownership under NGTL and ATCO’s Transitional Operating Agreement.
The Board was of the view that there would be no additional or increased interactions with biophysical or socio-economic elements as a result of the continued operation of the ATCO transferred assets under NGTL ownership. The Board also found that NGTL’s Integration Asset Transfer Project, operated in full compliance with the 11 conditions required in Appendix II of National Energy Board Report: Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. GH-002-2014, is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
The Board was satisfied that the ATCO transferred pipeline assets meet the requirements of the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations, and that the facilities are fit for their designed service.
Pursuant to Hearing Order GH-002-2014, and as amended by Order AO-001-GH-002-2014, a written hearing took place between July 8, 2014, and July 24, 2014, at which time the Board heard from NGTL and eight intervenors. Two parties also submitted letters of comment. The Board was of the view that NGTL undertook an appropriate level of public involvement, commensurate with the setting, nature and magnitude of the Project.
All Aboriginal groups potentially affected by the Project were provided with sufficient information and had an opportunity to make their views about the Project known to NGTL and the Board. The Board was of the view that NGTL undertook an appropriate level of Aboriginal engagement commensurate with the setting, nature and magnitude of the Application, which did not involve the construction of facilities.
For more information, please contact
Petroleum Resources Branch
Natural Resources Canada