A Boxing Day look at the Tupper West expansion project

If they receive regulatory approval, NorthRiver Midstream will begin construction on the Tupper West expansion in early 2019, and 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 km 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, the electrical transmission line has not.

The Tupper West gas plant, located about 22 km southwest of Dawson Creek, became part of Brookfield Infrastructure’s portfolio, as part of their $4.31 billion acquisition — announced in July of this year — of 100% of Enbridge’s Western Canadian natural gas gathering and processing business, 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 operates the provincially regulated assets acquired — 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.”


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