CALGARY, Alberta, May 8 (Reuters) - TransCanada Corp on Thursday filed a project description with regulators for a new gas mainline project in eastern Canada that will replace capacity being converted to carry crude for the Energy East oil pipeline.
The company plans to transfer 3,000 kilometres (1,864 miles) of under-utilized natural gas mainline system to the 1.1 million barrel-per-day Energy East pipeline that will ship crude from Alberta's oil sands to Saint John, New Brunswick.
Questions have been raised over whether gas customers in eastern Canada would see prices rise as a result of lower supply. TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling said plans for the new Eastern Mainline Project, filed with Canada's National Energy Board, were intended to alleviate those concerns.
"We are committed to ensuring that gas transmission capacity is available to meet the needs of customers and that the cost of serving those customers does not increase as a result of the transfer of a portion of the Canadian Mainline to Energy East," Girling said.
The proposed Eastern Mainline project will add up to 370 kilometres of 36-inch diameter pipe and compression facilities to the company's existing Canadian Mainline natural gas transmission system in southeastern Ontario.
It is intended to meet growing demand from customers in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec and ensure TransCanada can handle new supplies of gas from the U.S. Northeast.
TransCanada and shippers are still discussing how much capacity will be required on the Eastern Mainline. (Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Paul Simao)