New study:  Economic impact of Enbridge Line 3 will be massive

The Enbridge Line 3 replacement project will create approximately 8,600 jobs and will represent an investment of more than $2 billion in the 15-county study area of Minnesota according to a new economic impact study.

It was conducted by thge Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics. The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) requested the study be conducted.

“APEX supports the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project as it represents a significant investment in infrastructure for the safe transportation of a vital energy product,” Brian Hanson, APEX president and CEO, said in a Monday written announcement. “The study results confirm that the total economic impact of this project will strengthen our region with additional direct and indirect jobs for our local workforce.”

The study found that during a two-year construction phase (2019-2020), the project will:

  • Produce an economic impact exceeding $2 billion in Minnesota. Of that amount,  $1.5 billion will be contributed by Enbridge.
  • Directly and indirectly support 8,600 jobs. They will include 4,200 construction jobs, 2,100 local of them in local communities and 2,100 non-local,  support 2,800 retail/hospitality sector jobs and 1,600 local supplier/manufacturer jobs.
  • Contribute approximately $334 million in total employee wages and benefits.
  • Infuse $162 million (about 50 percent of total wages) for local workers.
  • Have a value added impact of $745 million on the region.
  • Add $162 million in total economic impact from non-local worker spending on meals, lodging, and incidentals while working in the study area.

 The study said Line 3 will primarily impact rural, northern Minnesota counties in the study area including Kittson, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake, Polk, Clearwater, Beltrami, Hubbard, Wadena, Cass, Crow Wing, Itasca, Aitkin, Carlton and Saint Louis. Most impacts will come from the construction expenditures, including site preparation, procurement, engineering and environmental costs. Study results also indicated that the retail and hospitality sector should expect an increase in trade as a direct result of new spending from non-local workers during the two-year project. Other accommodations including hotels/motels, resorts, campgrounds and RV parks and full-service restaurants should also experience increased employment needs.

“Jobs for Minnesotans embraces Enbridge’s private investment in Minnesota and also acknowledges the benefits to the environment by moving this project forward. Thousands of local positions will be created by this critical investment project,” said Nancy Norr, chair for Jobs for Minnesotans and director of Regional Development for Minnesota Power.

An open comment period began May 15 and will conclude on July 10. In addition, public hearings are being held today in Cloquet and St. Paul. Comments from that hearing will be added to this story later today.