Calgary-based TransCanada Corporation has increased the cost estimate for its controversial Energy East pipeline from $12 billion to $15.7 billion, and “the price tag could reach $19.3 billion when accounting for potential future financing costs, as well as the expense tied to increasing natural gas-pipeline capacity in Ontario and Quebec,” the Globe and Mail reports.
The new cost figures reflect hundreds of route changes contained in an update the company filed with Canada’s National Energy Board last week.
“Energy East is widely seen by the oil industry as the next-best option for moving landlocked Alberta crude to global markets after U.S. President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada’s US$8-billion Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year,” Lewis writes. “However, the pipeline faces mounting opposition from environmentalists who insist that the regulatory process should be overhauled to assess the project’s impact on climate change.”
While “there remains considerable debate about how Canada’s climate commitments translate into national climate policy,” he adds, Canadian climate hawks say Energy East is incompatible with a 1.5°C long-term limit on average global warming, to which the country agreed at the United Nations climate summit in Paris.
TransCanada had previously abandoned plans to build a marine export terminal at Cacouna, Quebec, along the St. Lawrence River, due to habitat and wildlife concerns. The NEB filings call for an increase in oil storage capacity at the port of St. John, New Brunswick, from 7.6 to 13 million barrels.