New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said he is pushing for two pipelines from western Canada.

Gallant just returned home from a trip to Alberta, where he championed the Energy East pipeline project.

He said he told TransCanada that it should consider a second pipeline to carry natural gas, in addition to the oil pipeline already planned.

“I’ve very optimistic that this project will go forward,” said Gallant at an energy conference in Saint John.

“I just put it to them and they certainly seemed curious and I think one of the reasons why is that they see so much support for the Energy East pipeline here in New Brunswick.”

Like the oil pipeline, Saint John would be the end of the line for the natural gas pipeline. Gallant said the presence of the Canaport LNG terminal is one of the reasons why the Energy East pipeline should be twinned.

“If they’re going to dig the trenches and put the pipeline in through New Brunswick, putting in a second pipe to connect the natural gas infrastructure you’d think would be cost effective,” said Susan Holt of the New Brunswick Business Council.

Gallant has been criticized by some New Brunswickers for supporting a moratorium on shale gas exploration, but some members of the business community said they are pleased he is focusing on energy.

“It’s a big signal that the premier of the province, in the first few days on the job, would go to Alberta and extend the message that we’re open, we’re keen,” said Steve Carson of Enterprise Saint John.

If a reliable supply of natural gas is found, the Canaport LNG terminal could be converted to an export facility, which would be a multi-billion-dollar project.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron