The National Energy Board is recommending that the federal government approve TransCanada Corp.’s proposed expansion of its NOVA gas pipeline system.

However, the federal regulator set 48 conditions that TransCanada subsidiary NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. has to meet if the project goes ahead.

Five of those conditions related to the protection and restoration of caribou habitat since the project would run though the territory of the threatened boreal woodland caribou.

The proposed expansion would include 230 kilometres of pipeline over five sections in northern Alberta that would mostly run parallel to existing pipelines.

The energy board says the total estimated cost of the project is $1.29 billion and could be in service by April 2017.

NOVA Gas estimates the project would generate $800 million in labour income during construction and add $1.2 billion to gross domestic product.