Line 3 Replacement Program will create prosperity in the prairies

Pipeline project officially launches in Canada, promising jobs, tax revenue and economic spinoffs

It’s the jumping-off point for the largest project in Enbridge history.

And for the nearly 600 residents of the town of Hardisty, Alberta, anticipation has been running high for the multibillion-dollar Line 3 Replacement Program.

“It’s growth. It’s change. It’s opportunity. It’s economy,” says Hardisty mayor Anita Miller. “Hardisty’s optimistic, because it helps all these little businesses for sure.”

Today, Enbridge kicked off Canadian construction on the Line 3 Replacement Program in parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan. With a targeted completion date of 2019, the Line 3 Replacement Program will fully replace 1,660 kilometres (1,031 miles) of Line 3—one of the primary conduits in our Mainline crude oil network—between Hardisty and Superior, Wisconsin.

“As Canadians, we can be proud of a record of responsible energy production even as we commit to ensuring it is safer and more sustainable. If we are to be international energy leaders, we need to support safe ways to access markets like pipelines,” says Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall. “On behalf of the Province of Saskatchewan, we thank Enbridge for this very significant investment and the thousands of jobs that will be supported by the project.”

The project reflects Enbridge’s ongoing commitment to enhancing pipeline safety and reliability. The new Line 3 will comprise the newest and most advanced pipeline technology—and provide much-needed incremental capacity to support Canadian crude oil production growth, and U.S. and Canadian refinery demand.

“Shovels in the ground on the Line 3 replacement is not only an important step for this project, but it means hundreds of jobs for Albertans,” says Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd. “We’re world leaders in energy innovation and environmental stewardship, and modernizing this key piece of infrastructure will help to protect Alberta’s environment, enhance the safety of this pipeline and ensure the province’s resources get to market.”

For small towns like Hardisty, having several hundred pipeline and facility workers in town for months at a time means an economic windfall.

“This Line 3 project . . . helps the local economy, whether you’re renting a room at the hotel, or camping at the campground, or eating at the restaurant, or getting your clothes washed at the laundromat,” says Miller.

Saskatchewan welding students stoked by Line 3 pipeline project right-of-way tour
Line 3 Replacement Program work near Loreburn opens youthful eyes to career possibilities

In Canada, this $5.3-billion project will create thousands of jobs, generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue, and contribute billions to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Canada.

According to economic modelling, the L3RP will generate:

  • An estimated 24,493 temporary full-time equivalent jobs;
  • About $50 million in benefits to Indigenous communities along the right-of-way;
  • $1.82 billion in labor income;
  • More than $514 million in tax revenue to Canadian federal, provincial and local governments; and
  • More than $2.87 billion toward the national GDP.

“Enbridge is committed to ensuring that communities along the pipeline route realize the significant economic benefits that will come with the project, including jobs, Indigenous business opportunities and training programs,” says Guy Jarvis, President of Enbridge’s Liquids Pipelines division.

Over time, Hardisty has become the most important crude oil storage hub in Canada, and a major hub on the North American landscape. Enbridge is the largest operator of contract storage facilities at Hardisty, with 12.9 million barrels of storage.

While the region, like the province, was founded on agriculture, “the oil industry, with (the storage terminal) just seven kilometres away, is huge here, and a lot of the businesses are spinoffs of that,” says Miller, who has lived in Hardisty since 1985.

“Speaking for the community of Hardisty,”she says, “Enbridge is a good corporate sponsor. They are good to the fire department, and they are good to . . . lots of the organizations in town.”