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Canada’s oldest incorporated city will likely emerge the big winner in the wake of TransCanada Corp.’s decision to build a $12-billion pipeline to transport crude oil from Alberta to refineries and export terminals in Quebec and New Brunswick.
The 228-year-old city of Saint John, nestled along the north shore of the Bay of Fundy, clings stubbornly to its historic Maritime past of shipbuilding. Home to North America’s first deep-water oil terminal, the city named after the Biblical figure John the Baptist, once boasted Canada’s largest shipyard and one of the biggest dry docks on the planet, but it has seen far more traffic from cruise ship visitors than the industrial kind in recent decades.
That moribund existence will get a much-needed jolt if TransCanada secures the necessary regulatory and environmental approvals to forge ahead with building its Energy East pipeline that would deliver 1.1-million barrels of crude a day from Western Canada to the East, passing through Montreal, Quebec City and Saint John.
Under the plan, TransCanada would convert about 3,000 kilometres of existing natural gas pipeline in Ontario and Quebec and construct an additional 1,400 kilometres extending to an ice-free, deep-water port in Saint John owned by Irving Oil Corp. Built in the 1950s, the TransCanada natural-gas pipeline is currently operating at only half capacity. Continue Reading →