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Infrastructure, Resource

Dofasco proposes 14-kilometre natural gas pipeline in support of ‘green steel’ project

Dena Fehir
Dofasco proposes 14-kilometre natural gas pipeline in support of ‘green steel’ project

Construction of a 14-kilometre natural gas pipeline is the key to ArcelorMittal Dofasco transitioning to “green steel” by 2028.

“Natural gas remains a lower-carbon source of energy than coal. In Ontario, we currently have three integrated steel mills whose operations are coal-based and Enbridge Gas is working with one of the largest, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, to help them transition from coal to natural gas,” said Murray Costello, director, southeast region operations with Enbridge Gas.

The Hamilton steelmaker and Enbridge Gas are planning a preliminary (preferred) route of approximately 14 kilometres of 12-inch pipeline. It would begin at the Trans Canada Energy crossing on Regional Rd. 56 and continue along Upper Centennial Parkway, then on Barton Street East and Kenilworth Avenue North to the steelmaker.

This route would also require the construction of a new gate station, a new customer station and two customer station rebuilds.

Three alternative routes will also be evaluated as part of the environmental consultation process.

Alternative route one follows the same path as the preliminary preferred route but consists of approximately 14 kilometres of 10-inch pipe and 100 metres of 16-inch pipe.

Alternative two consists of approximately 15.7 kilometres of 16-inch pipe and two kilometres of 24-inch pipe. This route would start at the outlet of the Hamilton Takeoff Station and segments would be in Carlisle, Flamborough and Hamilton.

Alternative route three would consist of approximately 11.8 kilometres of new pipeline, including approximately 4.5 kilometres of 16-inch pipeline, which would parallel an existing pipeline starting at the Enbridge Gas Hamilton Gate 3 station.

“Beginning in early 2025 and ending in late 2025, Enbridge Gas proposes to build natural gas pipelines in the City of Hamilton to meet ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s requirements,” said Costello.

When ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s vice-president of corporate affairs Tony Valeri and Costello presented the proposed project to the city’s General Issues Committee, Ward 12 (Ancaster) Councillor Craig Cassar said he has mixed feelings about it.

“This council has declared a climate emergency, so any effort to reduce emissions should be lauded,” Cassar said, adding “building new natural gas infrastructure could be seen as going in the wrong direction.”

In that same meeting, Ward 4 Councillor Tammy Hwang praised the project.

“I’m particularly excited about this opportunity, knowing that we go from coal, which is obviously not awesome, to natural gas. I want to reinforce to council that this is an opportunity for us to hit our climate change opportunities,” she said.

The anticipated project cost is not yet available as the project is still in the early planning stages.

Enbridge Gas will file a Leave to Construct application for this project with the Ontario Energy Board, and approval of this application is required before the project can proceed.

If approved, the pipeline would be constructed by Enbridge Gas and its contractors. Dillon Consulting has been hired to conduct an environmental study to assess the potential environmental and socio-economic effects that may result from this project.

“ArcelorMittal Dofasco is on the cusp of transforming steelmaking in Hamilton which is a significant leap forward on our path to net-zero. A safe and secure supply of natural gas is required for the first phase of our work which will reduce our GHG emissions by approximately 60 per cent,” said Valeri.

Dofasco plans to fully convert its steel production in Hamilton from coal to electric arc furnaces by 2028 as it works toward the eventual goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

As part of this study, two in-person public information sessions will be held in Hamilton and surrounding areas in early March.

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