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Veresen Midstream's Saturn gas plant moves to next phase

Veresen Midstream has approved a $930-million expansion to its existing Saturn natural gas plant near Groundbirch. The company made the announcement with the release of its fourth quarter 2015 results March 9.
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The site of Veresen's Sunrise Gas plant. It is one of three (Tower, Sunrise and Saturn) major gas processing facilities now under construction as part of the Veresen Midstream infrastructure development. All combined, the projects represent $2.5 billion of new midstream capital investment in the South Peace under the agreement with the Cutbank Ridge Partnership. Veresen Photo

Veresen Midstream has approved a $930-million expansion to its existing Saturn natural gas plant near Groundbirch.

The company made the announcement with the release of its fourth quarter 2015 results March 9.

The expansion will add 200 million cubic feet per day of compression and 400 million cubic feet per day of gas processing. 

Veresen Midstream says it plans to deliver the gas to both domestic and potential international markets via planned export facilities on the coast and the existing TransCanada NOVA Gas Transmission System.

The Saturn Phase 2 expansion will be about 160 acres in size and will handle gas produced in the Montney shale play on properties owned by the Encana Corp. and Mitsubishi joint venture, known as the Cutbank Ridge Partnership.

"(We're) moving ahead with plans to ramp up production, even in this low commodity price environment due to the advancements in drilling and completion efficiency," spokesperson Sarah Kenny said in an emailed statement. 

Veresen Midstream has already released its plans to build two processing facilities in the same area: the Sunrise facility, announced in October, and the Tower gas plant, announced last December.

Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead lauded the announcement of the expansion project on social media Thursday morning. 

"This brings secure long-term great jobs when the construction is completed," Bumstead wrote. "These construction projects also create terrific economic spinoff for our community. A great sign for our local economy."

The company was not immediately clear on how many jobs would result from the project.

"There will be incremental employment during both the construction and operation phase," Kenny wrote. "We do not have a total number as of yet due to the early nature of the construction planning."

When construction is complete, Veresen Midstream will have more than one billion cubic feet of gas processing infrastructure in the area, making it the second largest midstream gas processor in British Columbia, next to Spectra. 

All of Veresen Midstream's current and planned gas processing facilities tie into the BC Hydro grid, the company said. The expansion will make use of the Dawson Creek and Chetwynd Area Transmission Line that was finished late last year.

dcreporter@dcdn.ca