Alliance Pipeline started clearing on Tuesday of more than 650 kilometres (400 miles) of forested mainline and lateral rights-of-way in northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia.
Seven of the nine aboriginal contractors undertaking the clearing work are also starting this week at various locations.
Most of the work will be completed before spring breakup, Alliance said in a press release.
Mainline construction activities in Canada are expected to start on June 1 and construction of the lateral pipeline facilities portion of the system will begin later this year. The total Alliance Pipeline system is scheduled to be completed and in service in October 2000.
The Alliance Pipeline system is designed to carry natural gas from western Canada to the Chicago-area market center for distribution throughout North America.
Investors in Alliance People Limited Partnership, Alliance Pipeline LP, and Aux Sable Liquid Products LP include affiliates of: Coastal Corporation, 14.4 per cent; Duke Energy Corporation, 9.8 per cent; Enbridge Inc., 21.4 per cent; Fort Chicago Energy Partners LP, 26 per cent; The Williams Companies, Inc. 4.8 per cent; Westcoast Energy Inc., 23.6 per cent.