Enbridge to resume operation of east segment of Line 5

October 9, 2020 By    

Enbridge planned to restart the east segment of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac after receiving authorization from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and approval from a Michigan circuit court, the company says.

“The decision to allow the restart of the east segment of Line 5 is very positive for the many residents and businesses in Michigan and the Great Lakes region who depend on the energy Line 5 delivers,” says Vern Yu, executive vice president and president of liquids pipelines, in a company press release. “Enbridge will continue to focus on the safe operation of the dual Line 5 pipelines at the Straits of Mackinac, ensuring the Great Lakes are protected while also reliably delivering the energy and feedstock that helps to fuel Michigan’s and the region’s economy.”

The company had discovered an anchor support issue on the east leg June 18 and shut down both legs of the dual pipelines crossing the Straits of Mackinac as a precautionary measure. PHMSA indicated in a Sept. 4 letter to Enbridge that a review by the agency and an independent third-party expert of the data from an in-line inspection of the east segment in the area around a damaged screw anchor did not identify any integrity issues, the company says. The west segment returned to operation in July.

Meanwhile, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy launched a series of informational sessions and public hearings on Enbridge’s Line 5 tunnel permit application to build a utility tunnel under the Straits. The tunnel is designed to relocate the portion of the Line 5 pipeline that currently rests on the bottom of the Straits.

Line 5 transports up to 540,000 barrels per day of light crude oil, light synthetic crude and natural gas liquids, which are refined into propane. The National Propane Gas Association and the Michigan Propane Gas Association have kept a close eye on the developments.

Featured photo: JamesBrey/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

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About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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