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Enbridge plans next step toward breaking ground on pipeline

Enbridge CEO Al Monaco spekas during an interview at the company's office in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.

Jeff McIntosh/The Globe and Mail

Enbridge Inc. intends to methodically meet all 209 conditions required for its Northern Gateway oil pipeline project to become reality.

Before even one shovel breaks ground, the pipeline company must fulfill 113 of those conditions. It's a goal that Enbridge sees as attainable because it had already committed to more than 50 per cent of the requirements before they were outlined by a federal joint review panel in December. Construction on Northern Gateway could begin in the fall of 2015 – a dozen years after Enbridge first unveiled plans for a pipeline from Alberta's oil sands to the West Coast.

"We're going to be driven by a very disciplined approach," Enbridge chief executive officer Al Monaco said Tuesday during a conference call. "Certainly, re-engaging First Nations is a big priority for us."

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Calgary-based Enbridge is undaunted by legal challenges against Northern Gateway, believing the process will play out within a reasonable period. "This is not necessarily an endless process," Mr. Monaco said.

Enbridge executive vice-president Janet Holder, who leads the Northern Gateway project, said world-leading engineers are working to ensure a state-of-the-art pipeline. "It needs to be done right," she said.

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