Response to west-east pipeline project mostly positive in Saint John
Pipeline construction materials are shown in this file photo. (Grand Forks Herald / Eric Hylden)
Published Monday, August 12, 2013 6:51PM ADT
In many communities, there is often an immediate backlash when news spreads that a giant industrial development may be moving in, but that doesn’t appear to be case in Saint John, which will be the end of the line for the proposed west-east pipeline.
On Aug. 1, Irving Oil announced a proposal to build a new $300-million marine terminal in Saint John to help ship Alberta oil to lucrative markets abroad.
The company signaled its plans to build the Canaport Energy East Marine Terminal at its refinery mere hours after TransCanada Corp. announced it would proceed with the $12-billion Energy East Pipeline project.
Many of the people who live in the area are watching with interest, including Armando Giacometti, whose camp overlooks the LNG terminal.
“Sit up here in front of the big window and with a glass of wine watch the ships come in,” says Giacometti. “It doesn’t get better than that during the summer.”
His view may change if Irving and TransCanada Corp. proceed with the projects but he doesn’t seem to mind.
“No, wouldn’t make any difference whatsoever. In fact, we enjoy just watching them come in out there, at night with all the lights on.”
While some environmental groups are started to mobilize against the pipeline, Giacometti says another tank farm and loading facility isn’t likely to change the existing mix of nature and heavy industry.
Mispec resident Brian Harris says he’s focusing on the number of jobs the projects will bring to the area.
“I think it’s good. I think it will bring jobs to the area and a lot of people out here are glad of the pipelines and the whole thing,” says Harris.
If the pipeline project goes ahead, the new marine terminal will be the end of the line on the 4,000 kilometre link with Alberta.
Large-scale industrial projects have been gravitating toward the eastern part of Saint John for decades. A few years ago, the area was selected to host a much larger industrial project – a second oil refinery – but the project was eventually shelved.
Long-time Red Head resident Karen Myles hopes the project comes to fruition.
“The only thing we see are the huge ships coming back and forth and that’s interesting so I don’t think it will make a big difference,” says Myles.
“It’s going to create jobs and, as far as I’m concerned, the city is dearly in need of jobs for the younger generation.”
The pipeline is expected to carry up to 1.1 million barrels of oil each day -- up from the 850,000 barrel estimate when TransCanada issued its call for interest earlier this year.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron