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Minnesota advises against Line 3 upgrade

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

Officials in Minnesota will recommend the state utilities commission reject a permit for the pipeline project. The state’s Department of Commerce said yesterday that Enbridge’s proposal to replace its Line 3 pipeline would not benefit the state and instead pose environmental risks. It will ask the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to deny a permit for the project, a decision due next year.

Enbridge Inc.’s upgrade of its Line 3 crude oil pipeline hit an obstacle on Monday after the US state of Minnesota told a regulatory committee that it has no need for the project, and that the existing pipe should be shut.

The testimony by Minnesota’s Department of Commerce is the latest challenge against the CAN$8.2 billion (US$6.52 billion) project through the state, which faces fierce opposition from environmentalists and aboriginal groups.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which heard the testimony, is expected to make a final ruling next year and has to issue a certificate of need before Enbridge, North America’s largest energy infrastructure company, can start construction in the state.

“The Department of Commerce (DOC) opinion is only one view, which we and other energy consumers will respond to in detail,” said Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge on Monday.

The Line 3 replacement project from Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin, doubles the capacity of the existing line to 760 000 bpd and is the largest project in Enbridge’s history, according to the company.

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