Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) has given the green light to Enbridge's plan to reverse the flow of the pipeline known as Line 9, carrying crude oil from Montreal to Sarnia, Ontario.
The decision will allow Enbridge to use the pipeline for moving a heavier type of crude oil from Western Canada to the east, where it could be used by refineries in Ontario and Quebec, preserving valuable jobs for communities in eastern Canada. Approval was granted for reverse operation of a 639-kilometer section of the line spanning from North Westover, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec. As part of the project, Enbridge will also increase the capacity of the pipeline to 300,000 barrels per day, up from the current 240,000 barrels.
Reversal of the western 194-kilometer segment from Sarnia to North Westover was approved in July 2012.
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Granting approval to Enbridge's plan to reverse the flow of Line 9 allows the company to be more flexible and adapt to market conditions, while at the same time the project will be of benefit to the economy and will be realized in an "environmentally sensitive manner," the NEB said in a statement.
The approval is subject to a series of conditions, such as requirements that Enbridge ensures pipeline integrity, takes care of emergency response and carries out continued consultation, the NEB noted.