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CALGARY — TransCanada Corp. says it will go ahead with a $1.5-billion expansion of its Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. System as the latest expansion of its natural gas network.

"With today's announcements, we are now advancing $9.1 billion of financially secured growth projects on the NGTL system over the 2018 and 2022 period," said TransCanada CEO Russ Girling on an earnings call Thursday.

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"Looking forward, customer demand for access to our systems remains strong and we continue to work with industry on options to connect growing Western Canadian gas supply to markets across North America," he said.

The latest spending plan on the NGTL system includes about 197 kilometres of large diameter pipeline, three compression units, meter stations and associated facilities.

The pipeline company said applications for approvals to construct and operate the facilities are expected to be filed with the National Energy Board in the second quarter of 2019. It expects to have construction of the segment completed in 2022.

TransCanada also continues to work on the $6.2-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline that it said it would go ahead with in early October after Shell-led LNG Canada officially gave the go-ahead for its massive gas export facility in Kitimat, B.C.

In the U.S., TransCanada is pushing forward on its controversial Keystone XL pipeline that faces several court and regulatory challenges.

A Montana court is considering a challenge to the presidential permit awarded to the pipeline, with a decision expected in early December.

The Nebraska Supreme Court was hearing oral arguments Thursday on a challenge to the route approval through the state, with a decision expected in late December or early next year.

Permitting for the project through the Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies is expected early next year to allow for the start of construction next year, said Paul Miller, president of liquids pipelines, on the earnings call.

"We continue our construction planning and preparation in anticipation of resolution of these legal and regulatory hurdles to prepare us for a start of construction in 2019. But we'll have to reflect on the rulings that do come down from the courts as well as the federal agencies."

TransCanada reported third-quarter profit of $928 million or $1.02 per share, up from $612 million or 70 cents per share in the same quarter last year. Revenue totalled $3.16 billion, down from nearly $3.20 billion a year ago.

Analysts had forecast profits of 78 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TRP)

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