Canada’s Pipeline Transportation System 2016 - Enbridge Southern Lights GP Inc.’s Southern Lights Pipeline

Enbridge Southern Lights GP Inc.’s Southern Lights Pipeline

Table 9.3.1: Enbridge Southern Lights GP Inc.’s Southern Lights Pipeline
Commodity and NEB Group Condensate
(Group 2)
Average annual capacity 28 600 m³/d
(180 Mb/d)
Average utilization 2015 59%
Primary receipt points Manhattan, IL
Primary delivery points Edmonton and Hardisty, Kerrobert, SK
Abandonment Cost Estimate and Collection PeriodNote a $100.8 million;
40 years


The Southern Lights Pipeline (Southern Lights) transports diluent from Manhattan, IL to Edmonton, AB where it is used in blending bitumen and heavy oil. The system was built by reversing approximately 1 465 km of the former Enbridge Line 13, and constructing 1 091 km of new pipeline in the U.S. The pipeline shares the Enbridge Mainline right-of-way.

Map – Southern Lights Pipeline

Source: NEB

Text version of this map

This map provides an overview of the Southern Lights Pipeline System.

Key Developments

Southern Lights was approved by the Board in February 2008 and operations began in July 2010.


Figure 9.3.1 shows throughput on Southern Lights for 2010-2015. Throughput averaged 19 300 m³/d (121 Mb/d) in 2014 and 16 900 m³/d (107 Mb/d) in 2015.

Figure 9.3.1: Southern Lights Throughput vs. Capacity

Figure 9.3.1: Southern Lights Throughput vs. Capacity

Sources: Enbridge, NEB

Text version of this graphic

This bar chart shows throughput and capacity for the Southern Lights Pipeline between 2010 and 2015. Capacity in 2015 was 28.6 10³m³/d (180 Mb/d). Throughput averaged 16.9 10³m³/d (107 Mb/d) in 2015, compared to 19.3 10³m³/d (121 Mb/d) in 2014.


Figure 9.3.2 shows the Southern Lights benchmark toll (diluent transmission from the U.S. border to Edmonton, AB) and the GDP deflator (normalized) for 2010-2015. Tolls are based on cost of service methodology and are regulated on a complaint basis.

Figure 9.3.2: Southern Lights Benchmark Toll

Figure 9.3.2: Southern Lights Benchmark Toll

Source: NEB

Text version of this graphic

This graph shows the Enbridge Southern Lights benchmark toll as a solid red line and the GDP deflator as a black dashed line. Tolls increased from approximately $12.00 in 2010 to approximately $15.00 in 2012. Tolls then decreased steadily to approximately $11.00 in 2014 followed by an increase to $11.55 in 2015.


Enbridge Southern Lights LP total assets had a book value of over $1.1 billion in 2015. Southern Lights tolls incorporate a 10% return on the equity portion of its rate base (which is roughly half the size of its total assets due to a $471 million note receivable from its parent company).

Table 9.3.2: Enbridge Southern Lights LP – Yearly
Enbridge Southern Lights LP 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Revenues (millions) $58.5 $65.2 $81.2 $87.1 $98
Net Income (millions) $33.4 $34.8 $37.8 $41.1 $47.0
Assets (millions) $1 010 $1 052 $1 049 $1 101 $1 115
Top of Page Photos: left: A pump jack silhouetted against the setting sun; centre: The grey valves and wheels of a pump station on clear day; right: Folded hands hold a pen on a board room table in a large meeting room.
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