Construction on Line 3 Workers on the Enbridge right-of-way Wednesday. In the background are welding shacks that are picked up and moved to each connection between two joints of pipe. Editor Kevin Weedmark spent the day on the line Wednesday.

Enbridge Line 3 construction progressing

November 5, 2018 7:50 am
Kevin Weedmark

Construction is progressing on Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project across southeast Saskatchewan and southwest Manitoba, with the work more than half completed in Spread 5, based in Regina, and the work moving into Spread 6, based in Moosomin.

The $8.6 billion Line 3 Replacement Program is the largest project in Enbridge history.

The Line 3 Replacement Program, with a C$5.3-billion Canadian component and a US$2.9-billion American component, will fully replace 1,031 miles (1,660 kilometres) of Line 3 with new pipeline and associated facilities.

When this year’s construction is complete, new 36-inch, Canadian-manufactured pipeline will be in place over 1,097 km­—from Hardisty, Alberta to Gretna, Manitoba near the North Dakota border.

A big part of this year’s construction runs from Regina to Cromer, Manitoba comprising 380 kilometres of the approximately 600 km of the Line 3 pipeline Enbridge is replacing this year.

“Spreads 5 and 6 are being managed as one project, under our contractor for the area, Banister Pipelines,” said Ferlin Koma, construction manager for Spreads 5 and 6 with Enbridge. “What this means is the bulk of construction activity is currently focused in Spread 5 and we are working our way eastward. Spread 5 runs from southeast of Regina and Spread 6 ends at Enbridge’s Cromer Station.

“We are now nearing 65 per cent completion of Spread 5, so we are getting closer to the Moosomin area. As of early November, much of the construction activity is concentrated in the Odessa-Montmartre-Kipling area.

“In Spread 6, we have about 30 kilometres of topsoil remaining to be stripped and have begun stringing pipe. In early November, we anticipate moving bending, welding and coating into Spread 6. Overall, as of the end of October, Spread 6 is about 10 per cent complete.

“We remain on track, along with the rest of the L3RP, to meet our objective of completing construction by year-end 2018, followed by reclamation of the right of way next summer and a targeted in-service date of the latter half of 2019.”

Much of the construction activity was concentrated in the Odessa-Montmartre area late last week, with stringing (laying out the sections of pipe) approaching Kipling, with track boring taking place near Maryfield, and soil stripping taking place near Cromer.

From a business perspective, replacing Line 3 enables Enbridge to meet the growing demand for Canadian crude oil across North America, bringing economic benefits and even greater energy security to the U.S. while unlocking the value of Canada’s most valuable export.

And that ‘driver’ brings with it benefits for local communities, explains project director Guy Krepps.

“Replacing Line 3 will significantly reduce the need for future maintenance activities that would otherwise occur to maintain its safe operation,” says Krepps. “And towns, villages and rural municipalities also benefit—from the presence of work crews during construction to the investments we’ve made in community projects and initiatives that they themselves have identified.”