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Kinder Morgan applies for Trans Mountain Pipeline twinning

Richard Gilbert

Kinder Morgan Canada has filed an application with federal regulators for the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which involves the twinning of an oil pipeline from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, BC.

“For the past 18 months we have engaged extensively with landowners, Aboriginal groups, communities and stakeholders along the entire proposed expansion route, and marine communities, and have carefully considered the input received during this period of study and dialogue,” said Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada.

“Our engagement efforts will continue beyond this filing leading up to the NEB hearing as we consider further input that is critical to our planning on this project.”

The pipeline, which is operated by Kinder Morgan Canada and owned by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P., submitted a formal application for the project on Dec. 16.

The formal application is proposing to expand an existing 1,150-kilometre pipeline between Strathcona County, which is near Edmonton, Alberta and Burnaby, B.C.

The $5.4 billion expansion project involves the construction of about 987 km of buried pipeline segments that completes a twinning or looping of the pipeline in Alberta and B.C., as well as new and modified facilities, including pump stations and tanks.

The project also includes the construction of three new berths at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, each capable of handling Aframax class vessels.

The NEB will conduct a science-based regulatory review and establish a public hearing schedule for the project.

“The NEB review process will allow for public comments and participation, including by Aboriginal Peoples,” said Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.

“Our government has been clear: we will only allow energy projects to proceed if they are found to be safe for Canadians after an independent, scientific environmental and regulatory review. That is why we are moving forward with our plans to further enhance marine and pipeline safety and to engage with First Nations on West Coast energy infrastructure.”

Oliver said that once the NEB determines the application is complete, it will deliver its report within 15 months.

Subsequently, the federal government will review the board’s recommendations and make a final decision on the application within 90 days.

Kinder Morgan expects construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline to be completed in late 2017, if regulatory approvals are received.

The expansion has been developed in response to requests for service from Western Canadian oil producers and West Coast refiners for increased pipeline capacity in support of growing oil production and access to growing West Coast and offshore markets.

Thirteen companies in the Canadian producing and oil marketing business signed firm contracts bringing the total volume of committed shippers to about 708,000 barrels per day (bpd). Kinder Morgan Canada received approval of the commercial terms related to the expansion from the NEB in May of this year.

The Trans Mountain pipeline system began operations 60 years ago and now transports a range of crude oil and petroleum products from Western Canada to locations in central and southwestern B.C., Washington State and offshore.

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