Natural gas has been an important part of B.C.’s energy picture for more than 55 years. This environmentally responsible source of energy creates good jobs throughout the province and useful products made right here in B.C.
British Columbia enjoys an abundance of natural gas, with vast reserves that are growing as new discoveries are made. We have enough natural gas to meet our energy needs for 100 years, including expanding our use of natural gas for electricity and low-emissions transportation. In fact, British Columbia has more than enough natural gas to share with areas of the world that do not have access to this environmentally and economically important resource.
With huge demand from Asian markets hoping to transition to greater use of natural gas, Spectra Energy has even more opportunities to create good jobs for British Columbians. These opportunities will also generate government revenue that can be used to improve vital public services like health care and education.
By building a natural gas system to Prince Rupert, Spectra Energy will be able to help Asian markets enjoy the benefits of natural gas to power their industries, heat their homes and replace less environmentally friendly fuels. That means protecting our environment at home and creating good jobs for British Columbians, while helping the rest of the world become cleaner and greener.
With natural gas, British Columbia gets the benefits of jobs, investment and government revenue.
Natural Gas Facts
Here are some facts you may not know about natural gas:
- Natural gas is the cleanest burning conventional fuel on the planet.
- Natural gas is abundant in B.C. and produced domestically.
- Natural gas is efficient, from production, to delivery, to use, causing fewer harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
- Natural gas is reliably available through a highly efficient delivery system.
- Natural gas can fuel everything from electricity production and manufacturing plants, to home heating and transportation.
- Natural gas meets about a quarter of North America’s energy needs, and we have the capacity to power even more.
- Natural gas lines are the safest form of energy transportation in the world.
To find out more about natural gas, visit our Natural Gas 101 page.
Spectra Energy’s New Natural Gas Project
Spectra Energy is proposing a new natural gas system in British Columbia from the Cypress area to Prince Rupert called the Westcoast Connector.
The goal is for construction to begin mid-decade, with the natural gas line starting service by the end of the decade.
This natural gas system will bring quality jobs to B.C. – more than 4,000 jobs over the course of construction and 50 to 60 permanent positions once complete. Having the Westcoast Connector in place will also encourage additional investment in the natural gas industry, helping to create even more direct jobs, while also generating spin-off jobs for B.C. businesses providing everything from hotel rooms to heavy equipment manufacturing.
With the input of Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders, early conceptual routes have been developed based on preliminary assessments of environmental, historical, cultural and constructability factors. Spectra Energy will continue engaging with interested and affected Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders, including local communities, environmental organizations and regulatory agencies, to determine the best possible route to move this important resource across British Columbia.
Spectra Energy is committed to an ongoing conversation during the development of this plan and is looking for your input to ensure that the Westcoast Connector benefits British Columbians.
With its abundant natural gas supplies, British Columbia has enough natural gas to meet domestic needs and export surplus gas to Asia, where growing markets are looking for cleaner-burning natural gas.
The Westcoast Connector represents a continuation of Spectra Energy’s 55-year legacy in B.C. Our project planning efforts will focus on continued gathering of local input and ideas.
As part of those planning efforts, Spectra Energy has developed an outreach initiative designed to engage stakeholders in a dialogue on the economic and environmental benefits that natural gas can create in British Columbia.
Today, Spectra Energy’s natural gas transportation system in B.C. moves about 2.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day – enough to heat about 10 million homes for a full year. The system employs more than 850 men and women in B.C., pays nearly $65 million in property taxes and contributes about $1 million annually in community investments across the province. The company is nearing completion of a $1.5 billion expansion program in B.C., which has created more than 1,350 construction jobs and resulted in $120 million in contracts with Aboriginal and local contractors in the province.
Spectra Energy is investigating pipeline route options that could include between 100 to 200 kilometers of pipeline in the marine environment. Spectra Energy will work closely with the Federal
and Provincial ministries and stakeholder groups on any of the marine route alignments we are considering. Our aim is to ensure that potential effects to the marine environment are minimized and temporary in nature, and that valued, sensitive areas are identified and avoided to the extent possible. In fact, a marine route may be the least environmentally disruptive and most secure
route through this rugged area of the province, offering a far higher degree of environmental protection overall.
Spectra Energy is also working with independent experts in the fields of marine and hydrographic surveying to conduct detailed geophysical and environmental baseline studies and surveys of
the seabed conditions which form part of the B.C. environmental assessment process. Minimizing potential impacts on the marine environment will be a fundamental criteria in our design, planning,
construction and operation of the pipeline system. Unlike land routes, a marine pipeline alignment will not require the clearing of trees, substantial excavation of soil, construction of roads for
access or ongoing vegetation management.
Large diameter subsea pipelines and cables have been constructed in many of the world’s oceans. And while most British Columbians are not currently very familiar with sub-sea pipeline
installations, they do exist right here in B.C. The Vancouver Island Pipeline that connects the Lower Mainland to Vancouver Island runs along the sea floor and was constructed by Spectra Energy
in the 1990s. Additionally, our partner BG Group, has a long and successful track record of subsea pipeline installations in their other projects around the world. This could be an opportunity for
B.C. workers and the marine industry to develop a new skill set, and could provide numerous local employment opportunities.
The proposed system, capable of transporting up to 4.2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, would be approximately 850 kilometres (~525 miles) in length and 48 inches in diameter. Early conceptual routes have been developed based on preliminary assessments of environmental, historic, cultural and constructability factors. Spectra Energy continues to engage interested and affected stakeholders, Aboriginal and local communities, environmental organizations and regulatory agencies, to further refine the proposed project route.
We expect the Westcoast Connector to provide significant benefits to B.C. including:
- Good Jobs: The Westcoast Connector will bring quality jobs to B.C. – more than 4,000 jobs over the course of construction and 50 to 60 permanent positions upon project completion.
- Business Opportunities: The Westcoast Connector will create demand for a range of goods and services – everything from heavy equipment and industrial parts to catering, hotel rooms and office supplies. Spectra Energy will partner with local and Aboriginal businesses for procurement.
- Environmental Integrity: Natural gas is the cleanest conventional fuel available today. By continuing to use clean-burning natural gas in B.C., and making surplus natural gas available to Asian markets seeking cleaner energy sources, B.C. can play an important role in environmental stewardship.
- Economic Growth: Total anticipated investment in the project is approximately $8 billion. But the the Westcoast Connector’s economic scope is far greater when you consider the multiplier effect of our investment – and its ability to spur B.C. economic growth and global competitiveness.
- Community Investment: Spectra Energy looks forward to continuing and expanding our tradition of community investment and engagement. As we continue to meet with stakeholders, we will identify needs and opportunities – and collaborate on ways to build long-term stability for families, communities and local economies.
- Volunteer Programs: Spectra Energy’s volunteer program, Helping Hands in Action, provides funding to community programs and encourages our employees to volunteer their time. Helping Hands in Action has recently been involved with the Ronald McDonald House of B.C., the Fort St. John’s Women’s Resource Society, and a number of highway cleanup initiatives across northern B.C.
The Westcoast Connector is being developed by a partnership of Spectra Energy and BG Group. Spectra Energy will be responsible for project construction and operations.
- Spectra Energy is one of North America’s leading natural gas infrastructure companies and has deep roots in British Columbia. Today, Spectra Energy processes and transports 60 percent of the natural gas produced in B.C.
- BG Group is a leading player in the global energy market, with operations in more than 20 countries over five continents. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, BG Group has broad experience across the entire natural gas chain. BG Group’s LNG activities combine liquefaction and regasification facilities with the purchasing, shipping, marketing and sale of LNG.
For Further Information
Learn more about this new natural gas system and the benefits it offers B.C. on this website or by calling toll free 855.757.4755.
Sarah McCullough at 604.488.8095 or
Rosemary Silva at 604.488.8147 or
Rob Whitwham at 403.699.1884 or
Brian Tanaka at 403.699.1810 or
John Arensdorf at 713.527.4600 or
Roni Cappadonna at 713.627.4778 or