27 July 2005 – International project management and services company AMEC has signed a contract to provide environmental consulting and regulatory permitting services for the Montana-Alberta Tie Ltd. project, the first power line to be built by private industry to cross the US-Canadian border.
The project also is a first for AMEC in that it incorporates the use of both US and Canadian field-team and project-management personnel operating under one contract and one scope of work to address regulatory needs on both sides of the border.
The execution of this contract marks an important milestone in the completion of the project development plan to bring the MATL line into service by the first quarter of 2007.
The $90m 300 MW power line will run 190 miles from Lethbridge, Alberta to Great Falls, Montana. It will be a bi-directional transmission line that will allow electricity to be moved from the U.S. to Canada and vice versa depending on market demand. The process by which the capacity contracts were sold already has been accepted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The project is financed by a consortium of private investors led by Tonbridge Power with Rocky Mountain Power and Lectrix LLC. The project is sited to additionally take advantage of wind energy development in southern Alberta and northern Montana.
Under the contract, AMEC will perform a broad range of environmental review and permitting work to satisfy state/provincial and federal requirements on both sides of the border. AMEC’s work is anticipated to include the preparation of an Environmental Assessment in Canada and either an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement in the US, plus the performance of a public consultation programs on both sides of the border. Overall, as many as 10 regulatory permits may be involved in Canada and up to 9 in the U.S.
Preparation of the environmental assessments is likely to include wetland-delineation surveys, vegetation and wildlife surveys to comply with the Endangered Species Act in the U.S. and the Species at Risk Act in Canada, fisheries investigations and a historical resources survey in Canada.