Pipeline Profiles: Vector

Pipeline system and key points

Section updated June 2020

Vector Pipeline Limited Partnership (VPLP) is the Canadian portion of the Vector Pipeline system and is regulated by the CER. The Vector Pipeline System transports natural gas between Illinois, U.S. and Ontario, Canada. The U.S. portion of the Vector Pipeline System, owned by Vector Pipeline LP is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The main receipt point is located in Joliet, Illinois. The main delivery point is located in Dawn, Ontario. Joliet is the site of several natural gas pipeline interconnections (including Alliance Pipeline and Northern Border via Foothills Saskatchewan). Dawn is the largest natural gas storage area in Canada.

CER import and export statistics on the Vector Pipeline are recorded at Courtright, Ontario.

The Vector Pipeline system was placed into service in December 2000. At the end of 2017, CER-regulated assets included 25 km of pipeline and auxiliary infrastructure. Capacity of the Vector Pipeline system is approximately 36.8 million cubic metres per day (1.3 billion cubic feet per day).

Official CER documents related to the construction, operation and maintenance of the Vector Pipeline are available: Vector Pipeline Limited Partnership regulatory documents (facilities) [Folder 90716].

You can see the Vector Pipeline and all CER-regulated pipelines on the CER’s Interactive Pipeline Map. The map shows more detailed location information, the products carried by each pipeline, the operating status and more. You can also view maps on Vector Pipeline’s website.

Pipeline map

Vector pipeline system map

Source: CER

Text version of this map

This map provides an overview of the Vector pipeline.


Section updated June 2020

A toll is the price charged by a pipeline company for transportation and other services. Tolls allow pipeline companies to safely operate and maintain pipelines. Tolls also provide funds for companies to recover capital (the money used to build the pipeline), pay debts, and provide a return to investors.

The interactive graph below shows the benchmark toll on the Vector Pipeline. The toll is calculated on a postage stamp basis for all movements from the international boundary near St. Clair, Ontario to the delivery point near Dawn, Ontario.

Open data can be freely used and shared by anyone for any purpose. The data for these graphs are available.

VPLP is subject to Group 2 financial regulation and tolls on the Vector Pipeline are regulated by the CER on a complaint basis.

Official CER documents related to the traffic, tolls and tariffs for the Vector Pipeline are available: Vector Pipeline Limited Partnership regulatory documents (tolls and tariffs) [Folder 274378].

Abandonment funding

Section updated June 2020

The CER requires all pipelines to set aside funds to safely cease operation of a pipeline at the end of its useful life. In 2013, VPLP estimated it would cost $4.75 million to do this for the Vector Pipeline. In 2019 this was updated to $8.5 million and VPLP’s annual contribution amount increased. These funds are being collected over 40 years and set aside in a trust.

Table 1: Vector Pipeline’s abandonment trust fund balance
  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Trust fund balance ($) 168 000 313 000 476 000 643 000 860 000

Official CER documents related to abandonment funding can be found here, sorted by year and by company: abandonment funding documents [Folder 3300366].

Pipeline financial information

Section updated June 2020

Pipeline companies report important financial information to the CER quarterly or annually. A solid financial position enables companies to maintain their pipeline systems, attract capital to build new infrastructure, and meet the market’s evolving needs. The data in this table comes from VPLP’s Audited Financial Statements [Folder 282506].

Vector Pipeline’s financial information

Section updated June 2020

Table 2: Vector Pipeline’s financial information
  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Revenues (million $) 10.0 10.7 9.5 9.9 9.3 8.8 8.7 12.3 16.2
Expenses (million $) 2.8 2.8 2.9 3.0 3.2 3.6 3.9 4.3 5.6
Net income (million $) 6.0 7.1 5.9 6.2 5.5 4.9 3.7 7.5 9.9
Assets (million $) 41.1 38.8 36.9 36.2 34.0 45.1 45.9 45.9 46.6
Corporate financial information

Section updated June 2020

The majority ownership partner of VPLP is Enbridge Inc. (Enbridge). Minority ownership is held by a subsidiary of DTE Energy Company. Enbridge is an energy transportation, distribution, and renewable power generation company. Enbridge assets include crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids pipelines, renewable power generation, as well natural gas distribution utilities in British Columbia, Ontario, and New Brunswick. The company is headquartered in Calgary, Canada. In February 2017, Enbridge acquired Spectra Energy Corp.

Credit ratings provide an idea of the financial strength of a company, including its ability to attract capital to build new infrastructure and meet financial obligations. The credit ratings below are expert opinions of how likely the debt issuer is to live up to its obligations.

Table 3: Enbridge Inc.’s credit ratings
  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
DBRS credit rating A (low) A (low) A (low) BBB (high) BBB (high) BBB (high) BBB (high) BBB (high) BBB (high)
Moody's credit rating Baa1 Baa1 Baa1 Baa2 Baa2 Baa2 Baa3 Baa2 Baa2
S&P credit rating BBB+ BBB+ BBB+ BBB+ BBB+ BBB+

Condition compliance

Section updated June 2020

Every pipeline company in Canada must meet federal, provincial or territorial, and local requirements. This includes Acts, Regulations, rules, bylaws, and zoning restrictions. Pipelines are also bound by technical, safety, and environmental standards along with company rules, protocols and management systems. In addition to these requirements, the CER may add conditions to regulatory instruments that each company must meet. Condition compliance is monitored by the CER and enforcement action is taken when required. For a detailed list of conditions that Vector must meet, and their status, please see the condition compliance table and search for “Vector Pipeline Limited Partnership”.

Safety performance

Section updated June 2020

The CER holds the companies it regulates accountable to protect the safety of Canadians and the environment. As part of this accountability, companies must report to the CER events such as incidents and unauthorized third-party activities that happen without the pipeline company’s written consent. For a summary of pipeline incidents and unauthorized activities on the Vector Pipeline since 2008, visit the Safety performance dashboard and select “Vector Pipeline Limited Partnership”.

Emergency management

Section updated June 2020

The CER checks to make sure companies are keeping pipelines safe by doing inspections, in-depth safety audits, and other activities. Yet, even with these precautions, an emergency could still happen. Sound emergency management practices improve public safety and environmental protection outcomes, and provide for more effective emergency response.

The CER holds its regulated companies responsible for anticipating, preventing, mitigating, and managing incidents of any size or duration. Each company must have an emergency management program that includes detailed emergency procedures manuals to guide its response in an emergency situation. We oversee the emergency management program of a regulated company’s projects as long as they operate.

The CER requires companies to publish information on their emergency management program and their emergency procedures manuals on their websites so Canadians can access emergency management information. Vector’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Program is available through Union Gas, from Vector’s Pipeline Safety website.

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