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Dec 1 2021

The NGTL System – Quietly powering North America

Posted by TC Energy

The NGTL System – Quietly powering North America

The NGTL legacy

NGTL. It’s an acronym used often, but what is it? What does it represent? In 1945, only a few population centres in Alberta were linked up to a natural gas supply via pipelines and had limited access to energy. The NOVA Corporation began in 1954 as ‘The Alberta Gas Trunk Line Limited’ and by 1967, it had become the largest transporter of natural gas in Canada, a legacy that carries on today.

The NGTL System – Quietly powering North America

Now commonly referred to as NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd., or ‘NGTL’, the system spans 25,000 kilometres (15,000 miles) in length and delivers energy to millions of North Americans every day and is an essential part of our pipeline network. In fact, one in every four molecules of natural gas across North America comes through our natural gas infrastructure. And, as of 2019, our extensive pipeline system can enable a molecule of natural gas from northwest Alberta and northeast B.C. to be delivered to Mexico City, connecting the continent like no other energy company in North America.

Innovation in sustainability

NGTL pipelines are built and operated within a world-class regulatory environment and we are an industry leader in safety, reliability and community engagement innovations. For example, operations and expansions on NGTL are being conducted with state-of-the-art technology, like the zero emissions vacuum and compressor (ZEVAC) unit, that prevents emissions from being vented into the atmosphere during pipeline integrity activities.

The NGTL System – Quietly powering North America

System expansions

The NGTL System is growing with a multi-billion-dollar expansion program over the next several years, which will add almost 1,100 km in pipe and 630 megawatts of compression power. One of which, is the 2021 NGTL System Expansion Project which has recently achieved a few significant milestones – to help keep us growing in sustainable, efficient and innovative ways.

Breaking our own record – Longest horizontal directional drill (HDD)

On the Dismal Creek section of the 2021 NGTL System Expansion Project, a 1409 metre (4622 feet) HDD was successfully completed on the Pembina River in Alberta, becoming the longest 48-inch HDD to be completed in North America. Not only has the project tackled a few engineering feats, but recently, both the 35 km Valhalla section and the 47 km Elmworth section came into service, providing even more capacity and reliability on the NGTL System, with the rest of the project anticipated to come into service over the next several months.

More information

Take a look at how the project has come together.