BC pipeline explosion could be costly

October 30, 2018
Written by Amy Smart, The Canadian Press
A natural gas shortage follows a pipeline explosion near Prince George earlier this month and one of the province’s largest utilities, FortisBC, says it means supply will be reduced by 50 to 80 per cent during the coldest months of the year.

Linda Delli Santi, executive director of the BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association, said any higher costs of using alternative fuels or spikes in gas prices will be passed on to consumers.

Most growers have an interruptible plan with FortisBC, which means they pay a discounted rate but service can be stopped in an emergency like the pipeline explosion or during cold snaps and prioritized to other customers.

While natural gas service has been restored since the Oct. 9 incident, she said at least one grower has told her he may skip production this season over concerns about gas prices.

Enbridge, the pipeline’s owner, has said it expects to have its ruptured pipeline back in service by mid-November, but the pressure in that line and in a smaller pipeline nearby will remain below maximum levels until spring.

The National Energy Board said in a statement Friday that it ordered Enbridge to limit gas flows at 80 per cent pressure levels from the blast site, located about 15 kilometres northeast of Prince George, along the entire length of the pipeline up to the B.C.-United States border, as a safety measure to protect people and the environment. | READ MORE

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