Pipeline Profiles: Trans Quebéc & Maritimes

Pipeline system and key points

Section updated June 2020

The Trans Québec & Maritimes pipeline (TQM) transports natural gas in the province of Québec. The pipeline commenced operations in 1982. At the end of 2016, regulated assets include 572 km of pipeline and various auxiliary infrastructures. Gaz Métro Holding Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gaz Métro Limited Partnership and TransCanada PipeLines Limited are the general partners of TQM.

TQM extends from an interconnect with the TransCanada's Canadian Mainline near Saint Lazare, Québec, to a point near Québec City in the municipality of Lévis on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. TQM also extends from Terrebonne, north of Monteal, tro a point on the Canada-U.S. border near East Hereford, Québec. The TQM pipeline has 31 delivery points and two compressor stations.

Key points on TQM include:

  • East Hereford – export interconnect with the Portland Natural Gas Transmission System at the Canada-U.S. border near East Hereford, Québec. TQM delivers natural gas customers in the U.S. states of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.
  • Saint Lazare – interconnect with TransCanada’s Canadian Mainline near Saint Lazare, Québec. TransCanada’s Canadian Mainline delivers natural gas produced in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and the Appalachian Basin.

Pipeline map

Trans Québec & Maritimes pipeline system map

Source: CER

Text version of this map

This map provides an overview of the Trans Québec & Maritimes pipeline.

CER documents related to the construction, operation and maintenance of the TQM pipeline can be found here: TQM pipeline regulatory documents [Folder 90703].

You can see the TQM 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 a map on TQM Pipeline’s website.

Throughput and capacity

Section updated quarterly (early March, mid-May, mid-August and mid-November)

Select key point:

Select units:

Key Point Map
Key Point Trends
Key Point Description

Note: The physical capacity of a pipeline is based on many factors such as the products being carried, direction of flow, pipeline pumping capacity, and maintenance work or other pressure restrictions. The actual physical capacity of the pipeline may, at times, be higher than the assumed operational capacity stated here.

Dashboard instructions
  • Click on a key point button above the chart & map to view traffic at a different location. The map shows approximate locations on the pipeline where throughputs & capacity are recorded by the pipeline operator.
  • Click and drag your mouse on the area chart to zoom into the desired date range. Click on the Reset Zoom button to reset the full date range.
  • Click on the chart legend items below the chart to remove & add sections of data as required.
  • The key point trends are calculated using quarterly average traffic at the key point. Natural gas throughput trends are displayed year over year (last full quarter of data compared to the same quarter last year). Crude oil and liquids key point trends are displayed quarter over quarter (last full quarter of data compared to the previous quarter).

Note: The five-year average is calculated for natural gas key points using the total throughput across all trade types and direction of flows. For bi-directional key points (both export and import) the throughput is displayed for both directions, instead of the five-year average.

Looking for daily data? Daily natural gas traffic datasets are available on Open Government.

Source and description

Data Source: Open Government

Description: The above dashboard displays pipeline throughput and capacity at key point(s) along the system. Where possible, the five-year average and five-year range for throughput is shown with the current year throughput to better highlight the trends. For pipeline key points with a defined location, a map is displayed next to the graph showing the approximate key point location where pipeline throughput and capacity are recorded.


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 TQM T-1 firm transportation toll for the system per month since 2006.

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

TQM tolls are calculated in accordance with a toll settlement for 2017 to 2021 and are cost-based. The CER approved TQM’s tolling methodology in February 2017 (Order TG-001-2017) [Folder 3179270]. The Canadian Mainline has a firm contract for all the capacity on TQM and demand charges are paid by TransCanada PipeLines, regardless of flows.

Official CER documents related to the traffic, tolls and tariffs for TQM can be found here: TQM toll documents [Folder 92841].

A list of shippers on the TQM pipeline is available in an annual filing TQM submits to the CER, Application for TQM 2019 Final Tolls (Contract Quantities, PDF page 15 of 26) [Folder 3760584].

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 2016, TQM estimated it would cost $116 million to do this. These funds will be collected over 25 years and are being set aside in a trust.

Table 1: Trans Quebec & Maritimes Pipeline Inc.’s abandonment trust fund balance
  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Trust fund balance ($) 5 257 000 10 158 000 15 585 000 21 338 000 28 609 000

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

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 TQM’s Quarterly Surveillance Reports [Folder 155540].

TQM financial information

Section updated June 2020

Table 2: TQM financial data
TQM financial data 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Revenues (million $) 82 82 82 79 81 84 81 85 90 97
Fixed costs (million $) 70 69 69 64 60 59 56 57 56 55
Average rate base (million $) 413 394 373 362 353 343 340 334 329 341
After-Tax Weighted Average Cost of Capital (ATWACC) return on rate base (%) 6.4 6.47 6.76 5.66 6.12 5.91 6.40 5.32 5.59 6.06

TQM’s 2017-2021 Settlement Agreement and previous settlement agreements since 2010 set a fixed return on rate base and did not specify a capital structure or rate of return on equity. For illustrative purposes, TQM reports its rate of return on rate base based on the After Tax Weighted Average Cost of Capital (ATWACC) methodology as approved by the CER’s most recent cost of capital decision for TQM, RH-1-2008 [Document 551438]. Because the ATWACC includes after-tax return on debt as well as return on equity on the full rate base, it is typically lower than return on equity reported on only the equity component of rate base. In recent years it has averaged about 6%. TQM’s revenue has been stable, and its costs and rate base have been declining.

Corporate financial information

Section updated June 2020

TQM is owned by Trans Québec & Maritimes Pipeline Inc. which is owned 50% by TransCanada PipeLines Limited and 50% by Gaz Métro Holding Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gas Métro Limited Partnership, the natural gas distribution company in Québec. Its credit rating is highly influenced by Trans Canada PipeLines’ credit rating, as nearly all of TQM’s earnings are from a long-term contract with TransCanada PipeLines Limited. TQM’s credit ratings remain investment grade.

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: Trans Quebec & Maritimes Pipeline Inc. credit ratings
  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
DBRS credit rating A (low) A (low) A (low) A (low) A (low) A (low) A (low) A (low)
S&P credit rating A- A- A- A- A- A- A-
Financial regulatory audits

Section updated June 2020

The CER audits pipeline companies to confirm compliance with the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, regulations, CER orders and CER decisions. Financial regulatory audits focus on toll and tariff matters such as detecting cross-subsidies. TQM’s last audit was completed in April 2011. Official CER documents related to TQM’s financial regulatory audits can be found here [Folder 646387].

Safety and Environment

Conditions Compliance

Section updated August 2021

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 Commission may add conditions to regulatory instruments that each company must meet. Conditions are project-specific and are designed to protect public and the environment by reducing possible risks identified during the application process.

Condition compliance is part of the CER's oversight and enforcement action is taken when required.

Conditions can be related to a specific region, or apply to the pipeline project as a whole. The map below displays the number of in progress and closed conditions mapped to economic regions as defined by Statistics Canada.

Conditions can typically be either in-progress or closed. The CER follows up on in-progress conditions.


This status refers to conditions that continue to be monitored by the CER. This happens when:

  • condition filings have not yet been received by the CER; or,
  • filings have been received but are under review or do not yet meet requirements; or,
  • a project is not completed and it has conditions, which have not been met; or,
  • a project has a post-construction condition, but a requirement has not yet been completed; or,
  • some conditions may be active indefinitely or refer to the continued operation of a pipeline.

This status refers to:

  • condition requirements that have been satisfied, and no further submissions from the company are required; or
  • conditions whose filings or actions apply to a specific phase that have been fulfilled as the phase is completed (i.e. a specific filing during construction phase). Note: comments on the required actions can still be received.

Source and description

Data Source: Open Government

Description: The above map displays the number of CER conditions associated with projects approved by the Commission. The map is split into two tabs which show in-progress and closed conditions separately, mapped to an economic region. If a company has no in-progress conditions specific to an economic region, the dashboard will default to show the closed conditions by region. An additional view is available which contains the number of in-progress and closed conditions that don't have a corresponding economic region in the dataset. The map regions are shaded based on the number of conditions, with lighter coloured regions containing fewer conditions compared to darker colors. Conditions that apply to more than one region are double counted in the map, and these conditions will appear in the map region total and map region breakdown for each applicable region. The condition counts contained in the map navigation buttons represent total conditions without region double counting.

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

Have you checked out the CER's interactive conditions data visualization? This tool offers a deep dive into the CER's conditions compliance data and process, exploring conditions across all CER regulated companies by keyword, project, and location.

Reported Incidents

Section updated August 2021

The information presented here is based on CER data (2008 to current) for incidents reported under the Onshore Pipeline Regulations and the Processing Plant Regulations. New data is added quarterly. Learn more on how incident data collection has evolved since the NEB (now the CER) was established in 1959.

Companies must report events, such as incidents, to the CER in accordance with the CER Event Reporting Guidelines. Knowing what happened, and why, helps us find ways to prevent them from happening again.

What is an incident? (Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR))

As defined in the OPR, “incident” means an occurrence that results in:

  1. the death or serious injury to a person;
  2. a significant adverse effect on the environment;
  3. an unintended fire or explosion;
  4. an unintended or uncontained release of low vapour pressure (LVP) hydrocarbons in excess of 1.5 m³
  5. an unintended or uncontrolled release of gas or high vapour pressure (HVP) hydrocarbons;
  6. the operation of a pipeline beyond its design limits as determined under CSA Z662 or CSA Z276 or any operating limits imposed by the CER.
What is an incident? (Processing Plant Regulations (PPR))

As defined in the PPR, “incident” is defined as an occurrence that results or could result in a significant adverse effect on property, the environment, or the safety of persons. For the purposes of incident reporting in the PPR, events that fall under this definition include, but are not limited to:

  1. the death or serious injury to a person;
  2. a significant adverse effect on the environment;
  3. an unintended fire or explosion that results in or has the potential to result in damage to company, public/crown or personal property;
  4. an unintended or uncontained release of low vapour pressure (LVP) hydrocarbons in excess of 1.5 m³
  5. an unintended or uncontrolled release of gas, HVP hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide or other poisonous gas; or
  6. the operation of a plant beyond its design limits or any limits imposed by the CER.
Incidents and the CER

Companies self-report incidents and are expected to take a precautionary approach in doing so. This means that even when there is doubt as to whether an incident should be reported, the company must report it. The approach is, “When in doubt, report.” This is consistent with CER-regulated companies’ responsibility for anticipating, preventing, mitigating and managing incidents of any size or duration.

The CER reviews all reported incidents to assess whether companies have taken the appropriate corrective actions and to identify potential trends in incidents. Each incident is given a status indicating the current stage of the CER's incident review.

CER Status
  • Initially Submitted: The company has notified the CER that an incident has occurred and provided preliminary information. A review has been initiated.
  • Submitted: The company has submitted all of the required information and the CER is reviewing the incident.
  • Closed: The CER’s incident review has been completed and the file is closed.
Incident type definitions: one incident can have multiple types
  • Release of Substance (featured in the dashboard) - Any time a product is unintentionally released. (Releases of non-gas low pressure products in volumes of less than 1.5 m³ are exempt from reporting.)
  • Adverse Environmental Effects - When any chemical substance is released at a concentration or volume that has the potential to change the ambient environment in a manner that would cause harm to human life, wildlife or vegetation (e.g., glycol, potassium carbonate, methanol, methanol mix from hydrostatic testing, etc.).
  • Explosion - An unintended explosion
  • Fatality - Any death involving employees, contractors or members of the public related to the construction, operation, maintenance or abandonment of pipelines
  • Fire - An unintended fire
  • Operation Beyond Design Limits Includes situations, such as:

    • over-pressures - i.e., pressures that are higher than the maximum the equipment was designed to safely handle;
    • vibration beyond design limits;
    • slope movements causing movement in the pipeline beyond design limits;
    • pipe exposures in rivers or streams; and
    • introduction of an inappropriate product (e.g., sour gas in excess of CSA limits)

    Operation beyond design limit is typically linked to an over-pressure of the product in the pipe; however, if a pipe was exposed to excessive vibration and was not designed for this, this could be considered operation beyond design limits. Operation beyond design limits does not include equipment contacting the pipe, or corrosion pits, etc.

  • Serious Injury (CER or Transportation Safety Board) - Any serious injury involving employees, contractors or members of the public related to the construction, operation or maintenance of pipelines.

Are there any incidents near me?
Select range (100km):
Source and description

Data Source: Open Government

Description: The above map displays the location of product release incidents that have occurred on the pipeline system since 2008. The map defaults to show incidents as bubbles which are coloured based on the substance released. Incidents on the map can be re-categorized based on the most recently available status of the CER's incident review, the year in which the incident was reported, and the province/territory where the incident occurred. The incident map bubble can be switched to show the estimated volume of product released, with larger map bubbles showing larger release volumes relative to other product releases on the system. The incident data can also be toggled to display a stacked bar chart of incidents over time by clicking on the incident trends button above the map. The stacked bars display the number of product release incidents by year, with bar colour segments corresponding to the various products released. Similar to the map, incidents can be re-categorized by clicking on the side buttons to view a breakdown of incidents by status, what happened, why it happened, and province/territory.

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

Have you checked out the CER's interactive incident data visualization? This tool offers a deep dive into the CER's incident data trends, exploring incidents across all CER regulated companies.

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. To view Trans Québec & Maritimes’ Emergency Response Plans, view TransCanada’s Central Region and Eastern Region plans at its Emergency Preparedness website.

Date modified: