A look at the Tupper West expansion project

Pending regulatory approval, NorthRiver Midstream plans to start construction on the Tupper West gas plant expansion in early 2019, and have it ready for service by fall 2020.

“We’re looking to expand the existing Tupper West processing plant to the immediate south of the existing footprint,” says Jay Morrison, external affairs for Northriver Midstream. “We’re looking to expand it by almost double in size.”

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Morrison describes the project as a three part process — three applications to the Oil and Gas Commission.

The other two parts are a new booster compressor station located about 25 kilometres north of the Tupper West site, and an electrical transmission line that will power the facility.

The expansion of the processing plant and the booster compressor station have been applied for, while as of December 5, the electrical transmission line has not.

The Tupper West gas plant, 22 km southwest of Dawson Creek, became part of Brookfield Infrastructure’s portfolio, as part of its $4.31-billion acquisition of Enbridge’s Western Canadian natural gas gathering and processing business announced in July last year, which Brookfield named NorthRiver Midstream. 

Tupper West was built in 2011, and acquired by Enbridge in 2016.

The assets include 19 provincially and federally regulated natural gas processing plants and 3,550 km of natural gas gathering pipelines in British Columbia and Alberta.

NorthRiver currently owns and operates the provincially regulated assets — about $2.5 billion of the $4.31 billion, and includes Tupper West — while the acquisition of federally regulated assets are expected to close in mid-2019.

“It’s really business as usual,” says Morrison. “With all of the assets coming over, the large majority of the employees operating those assets are coming over, too.

“We have different colours and a different name, but day to day there’s not going to be a whole of difference.”

Austin Cozicar covers Dawson Creek and the South Peace region of Northeast B.C. Have a news tip? Email Austin at reporter@dcdn.ca.

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