Pembina Pipeline Corp. received an order that halts the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) from issuing its written hearing decision on the Fox Creek pipeline expansion project, the company said March 16.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench granted the order that prevents AER from issuing the decision on an interim basis. The written hearing decision was supposed to be delivered by the AER on March 17, which was within 90 days of the close of the hearing.

The expanded pipeline will run from Fox Creek, Alberta, to Namao, Alberta.

The interim stay was granted following a last-minute application made by the Alexander First Nation for orders requesting an injunction of the AER decision process or preventing the AER from issuing its written hearing decision.

The Alexander First Nation is concerned that a small portion of the expansion project would be constructed near lands that it owns or controls and lands it might potentially purchase in the future if there is a willing seller.

Previously, the AER rejected the first nation’s arguments at the hearing. The court ordered that the application proceed to adjudication quickly.

Pembina has secured binding rights of way required for project construction in the potential purchase area from all affected landowners. These lands are currently used for farming and are privately owned by individuals who are not members of the Alexander First Nation or otherwise affiliated with it, the company said.

Pembina submitted its application for the expansion project to the AER on Sept. 4, 2014, and had a public hearing between October and December of 2015 in which stakeholders could participate. The company noted that the Alexander First Nation was one of the stakeholders.

Calgary, Alberta-based Pembina explored route alternatives and said it expects the expansion project to be completed on time and on budget.