NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. – Towerbirch Expansion Project

Latest Updates

On March 10, 2017, Governor in Council directed the National Energy Board (NEB) to issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity [Filing A79841] for the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) Towerbirch Expansion Project. This Certificate and the Orders authorizing the construction and operation of the Project are subject to 36 conditions that will be enforced by the NEB.

The Project

On 2 September 2015, the National Energy Board (Board or NEB) received NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.’s (NGTL) Application for approvals to construct and operate pipeline facilities that will be part of the existing NGTL System. The proposed Towerbirch Expansion Project (Project) includes:

  • construction of 87 km of new gas pipelines and associated facilities in northwest Alberta and northeast British Columbia,
    • Tower Lake Section (32 km of 762 mm OD pipe)
    • Groundbirch Mainline Loop (55 km of 914 mm OD pipe)
  • additional associated facilities, including meter stations, valves sites and pipeline tie-ins.

Project map

This map provides an overview of the Towerbirch Expansion Project.

Towerbirch Expansion Project Map

View larger PDF version [PDF 1027 KB]

Review of the Project

  • 6 October 2016: The National Energy Board (NEB) found that the Towerbirch Expansion Project is in Canada’s public interest and recommends that Governor in Council approve the Project, subject to conditions. [Filing A79841]
  • 6-10 June 2016: Oral cross-examination for matters related to Part IV of the NEB Act took place in Calgary, AB [Filing A76943].
  • 30 May – 3 June 2016: Aboriginal oral traditional evidence (OTE) and oral cross-examination for matters related to Part III of the NEB Act took place in Dawson Creek, BC [Filing A76943].
  • 22 December 2015: Hearing Order GH-003-2015 [Filing A74919] and List of Participants [Filing A74920] were issued.
  • 2-27 November 2015: Application to Participate process.
  • 20 October 2015: NEB issues Notice of Hearing [Filing A73309]
  • 2 September 2015: NGTL submitted the project application [Filing A72401].
  • 29 May 2015: NGTL submitted a project description which triggered the NEB’s engagement and outreach activities.

Hearing Documents

During the National Energy Board's review of this Project, all evidence, letters of comment, Board decisions and other relevant documents must be filed with the NEB and placed on the Board's online document repository. These documents are all accessible to the public. You can find these documents here: [Folder 2819218].

Lifecycle Regulation

While most Canadians only hear about the NEB’s involvement at the beginning of projects, we actually regulates Canada’s federal energy infrastructure throughout its entire lifecycle. We do not simply make a decision on a project and walk away. When approved projects are being built and operated, we inspect and audit them. When a pipeline has reached the end of its usefulness, we hold a hearing to review abandonment applications to ensure that it is abandoned in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

In other words, the NEB regulates from “start to finish”, which can span the course of many decades. And we hold pipeline companies responsible for the full lifecycle of the pipelines they operate.

Here is the lifecycle of a regulated facility, showing the NEB’s involvement at each phase:

Lifecycle of an NEB Regulated pipeline

NEB Lifecycle Regulation

View larger PDF version [PDF 6815 KB]

Text version of this graphic

NEB oversight throughout the lifecycle: Regulations – Conditions – Inspections – Audits – Enforcement.
NEB requires companies to consult throughout the entire lifecycle, with those potentially affected.

  • Planning
  • Application to Construct and Operate
  • NEB Public Hearing Decision/Recommendation
  • Construction
  • NEB Decision on Safe Operation
  • Application for Leave to Open
  • Operation and Maintenance
  • Application to Abandon
  • NEB Public Hearing Decision
  • Abandonment

Contact Us

Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265
Facsimile: 403-292-5503
Facsimile (toll free): 1-877-288-8803

For media inquiries, please contact:

Media Relations Team
Canada Energy Regulator
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265

Company contacts

If you have questions about the project, including whether or not the pipeline could cross your property, please contact NGTL or TransCanada PipeLines Ltd at 1-855-458-6713 or, or visit their website.

Date modified: