Natural gas upgrade to one of Manitoba’s fastest-growing communities

Providing Energy for Life means making smart investments in our electric and natural gas infrastructure to maximize value to Manitobans and ensure we can safely and reliably meet our customers’ growing energy needs.

Steinbach is one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada. The 2021 Census showed an 11.1 per cent growth since the last Census in 2016, almost twice the five per cent population growth rate for the entire province.

So, it makes sense the natural gas load on the existing natural gas distribution system in Manitoba’s third largest cities — especially during the winter heating months — has increased due to the addition of more homes and businesses.

The Steinbach Upgrade Project will increase the supply of natural gas to the community to improve reliability and support the community’s immediate and long-term growth. It will also add a secondary gas supply as, until now, Steinbach has been fed from a single transmission pipeline and was vulnerable to outage caused by third-party damage to the pipeline, a pipeline failure, or a station failure.

“Building the new natural gas gate station on the south side of Steinbach is part of our continued commitment to ensuring a safe, reliable energy supply to the communities we serve, now and into the future,” said Greg Blazek, who oversees Gas Engineering & Construction at Manitoba Hydro.

“Steady population and business growth in the Steinbach area means we need to plan for future consumption patterns to ensure reliability. Having another gate station helps ensure the area’s natural gas supply meets growing demand.”

Construction began earlier this summer along Hwy. 12 from a new pressure reducing station on Hanover Road and installation of eight-inch distribution pressure polyethylene pipeline five kilometres to Loewen Boulevard (Hwy. 52). This portion of the project was completed in October 2022.

Natural gas piping surrounded by a fence.

The new Hanover Road station.

Enlarge image: Natural gas piping surrounded by a fence.

Yellow piping lays next to a dirt road.

Pipeline to be installed.

Enlarge image: Yellow piping lays next to a dirt road.

The remainder of the project is approximately 10 kilometres of six-inch transmission pressure steel pipeline which will supply the new pressure regulating station. The project is expected to be completed and energized in 2023.

Natural gas piping partially laid out in a trench.

Construction of the pipeline this summer.

Enlarge image: Natural gas piping partially laid out in a trench.

Greg said the new gate station also provides a second supply point to the community in the event of an emergency.

“It provides another point where we can mobilize liquified natural gas or use compressed natural gas (CNG) trailers to inject natural gas into the local distribution system, which helps maintain pressure in the system and augments gas service to customers in cases where there may be an issue with the main pipeline. We have multiple trailers that can operate in a rotation like we did in Tyndall in 2019.