Alliance pipeline completed

The $4.6 billion (Can.) Alliance natural gas and liquids pipeline from western Canada to the US Midwest has completed the construction phase and is now commissioning its main line, laterals, compressors, and supervisory equipment.


CALGARY�The $4.6 billion (Can.) Alliance natural gas and liquids pipeline from western Canada to the US Midwest has completed the construction phase and is now commissioning its main line, laterals, compressors, and supervisory equipment.

Alliance Pipeline LP said it completed the final weld, near Regina, Sask., last weekend. The line stretches from northeastern British Columbia to the Chicago area. Alliance is now injecting linepack into the system.

The line is scheduled to begin service in October with an initial capacity of 1.3 bcfd of natural gas and liquids. Alliance has a target start-up date of Oct. 2 but has warned regulators that could be delayed by normal start-up problems.

Final costs are figured at $100 million more than original estimates, due to wet weather, higher interest rates, and increased natural gas prices.

The Alliance line was originally conceived in the mid-1990s by Western Canada producers frustrated by low gas prices and lack of pipeline capacity to export markets in the US and eastern Canada.

The line was designed to provide producers a shipping alternative to Calgary-based TransCanada PipeLines Ltd., which had a near-monopoly on gas pipeline transportation to eastern markets from western Canada.

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