Enbridge proceeding with $7.5B Line 3 Replacement Project

Minnesota environmental officials are continuing to review Enbridge’s plans to replace a 1,097-mile crude oil pipeline, Kallanish Energy reports.

The state review of the Line 3 Replacement Project is expected to be released in mid-May. A series of public hearings in Minnesota will follow. Several federal agencies must also approve the pipeline, along with North Dakota and Wisconsin.

The $7.5 billion project has been called the biggest project in Enbridge’s history and one of the biggest infrastructure projects in North America.

At present, Line 3 runs from Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wis. The Canadian portion runs from Hardisty to Gretna, Manitoba, and the U.S. portion runs from Neche, N.D., to Superior.

The pipeline is a key part of Enbridge’s Mainline System for transporting crude oil to refineries and markets in the U.S. and eastern Canada.

The 667 miles of Canadian portion of the pipeline was approved last November. Its price tag is $4.9 billion. The U.S. portion stretches 364 miles in three states. Its price tag is $2.6 billion

The pipeline, now 34 inches in diameter, will be replaced with a 36-inch line. The line needs to be replaced because it was built from 1962-1967 and it is becoming more costly to maintain, the company has said.

The new pipeline could be in service in 2019, pending U.S. approvals, according to Enbridge.

It is designed to carry light, medium and heavy crudes and light synthetics. The initial capacity would be about 760,000 barrels per day.

The old line will be decommissioned and Enbridge will remain responsible for it.