Duluth, Minnesota: The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) is pleased to share the results of a recently completed economic impact study regarding the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project (L3RP). The study, commissioned by APEX and conducted by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics, found the project supported, on average, 4,157 jobs per year in the region and had a total impact of over $5 billion.

“Large-scale industrial projects are critical to continued growth and success throughout not just the APEX region but also the entire state of Minnesota,” said Lisa Bodine, APEX board chair. “The project surpassed all economic impact projections and created family-sustaining jobs for many Minnesotans. APEX is proud to advocate for these types of projects in our region because we understand the economic, environmental and social benefits will be felt for decades to come.”

The BBER assessed the economic impact of the L3RP on the fifteen Minnesota counties of Kittson, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake, Polk, Clearwater, Beltrami, Hubbard, Wadena, Cass, Crow Wing, Itasca, Aitkin, Carlton, and Saint Louis, as well as Douglas County in Wisconsin in 2017 (pre-construction) and 2022 (after completion). The 2017 pre-construction study estimated that the project would create approximately 8,600 jobs and represent an investment of over $2.0 billion.

Study results from 2022 show that the L3RP actually supported 4,157 jobs on average each year from 2017-2023, with peak employment reaching over 14,400 jobs in 2021. Enbridge contributed more than $1.7 billion in employee wages and benefits, over $2.2 billion in value-added spending, and generated more than $5.0 billion in new spending over the project’s life.

“Enbridge is extremely proud of the positive impacts the L3RP continues to have in Minnesota,” said Barry Simonson, Enbridge Director of Major Projects. “Because of the work of over 14,000 people and Enbridge’s investment in safety and maintenance, Minnesotans can access safe and affordable energy that individuals and businesses rely on daily.”

Key Findings

  • The L3RP supported, on average, 4,157 jobs per year in the region during the period.
  • Peak construction employment reached more than 14,000 jobs in 2021.
  • Roughly 50% of the project’s construction laborers were residents of the 16-county project area.
  • L3RP contributed more than $1.7 billion in employee wages and benefits.
  • For every job directly supported by Line 3, another 0.86 jobs were added in supporting industries.
  • L3RP generated over $2.2 billion in value-added spending and more than $5 billion in new spending.
  • Once monitoring and restoration work concludes in 2023, Enbridge will have invested more than $4 billion over the seven-year project, including more than $2.9 billion spent in the 16-county project area.

Executive Summary:
Please download the Executive Summary for more detail about the project’s economic impacts in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Replacing the Line 3 pipeline was critical to ensuring the safest and most reliable method of transporting crude oil through Minnesota. The new pipeline can move material safer and more efficiently and poses far fewer threats than the 50+-year-old infrastructure that was replaced.

The L3RP’s positive economic impacts will be ongoing for surrounding communities. Enbridge will pay an additional $35M annually in Minnesota property taxes, adding to the $43M annual property taxes the company currently pays.

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