Enbridge scores a win in Minnesota, moving one step closer to expanding Canada's crude export capacity
Minnesota's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has unanimously approved Enbridge's plan to replace Line 3, now calling the company's environmental impact statement (EIS) "adequate." Back in December, the PUC voted against the EIS, calling it inconclusive. The state's Department of Commerce also questioned whether the replacement would have any positive economic benefits within the state of Minnesota. The PUC now says their concerns have all been addressed.
The state's business leaders estimate the project will generate US$2 billion in revenues and create 8,600 "well-paying" jobs. Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt noted Enbridge has gone to "great lengths" to clear all regulatory hurdles.
The $8.2 billion Line 3 Replacement Project will restore capacity on the 50-year old line to 760,000 bbl/day. The company says it plans to abandon 450 km of pipe within the state, replacing it with 550 km of new pipe, with some sections running parallel to the existing line and other sections rerouted around Native American Reservation lands. The line is currently restricted to 400,000 bbl/day due to its age.
Line 3 runs 1,660 km from Hardisty, AB to Superior, Wisconsin. The system is part of Enbridge's Mainline network, which supplies about three-quarters of Canada's crude exports into the US. The additional crude volumes are expected to be rerouted mostly to the Gulf Coast.
Another report is due on April 23 on whether the project is needed. The PUC will then decide in June whether to grant a certificate of need and approve the pipeline routing. North Dakota and Wisconsin have already approved the segments in their states.