NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL), the wholly-owned subsidiary of TransCanada Corp., signed contracts for about 2.7 billion cubic feet per day of new firm natural gas transportation service that will require a CA$570 million system expansion for 2018, TransCanada said Nov. 16. Significant growth in unconventional natural gas supplies in northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia are the primary driver for these new contracts.

Multiple projects total 88 kilometers (55 miles) of 20- to 48-inch diameter pipeline, one new compressor, about 35 new and expanded meter stations and other associated facilities. Applications to construct and operate these various components will be filed with the National Energy Board between second-quarter and fourth-quarter 2016, the company said. Subject to regulatory approvals, construction is expected to start in 2017, and all facilities should be in service in 2018.

The expansion program represents the minimum system additions required to meet current contracts. There are already CA$7.5 billion in projects, and the expansion program will increase the overall investment on the NGTL system. About CA$2.8 billion of these projects have received regulatory approval, with CA$800 million under construction, and an additional CA$1.7 billion of facilities under regulatory review.

Russ Girling, president and CEO, said that more capacity is needed to support Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin gas resources.

TransCanada Corp. is based in Calgary, Alberta.