Trans Mountain Expansion Starts Work in British Columbia

By Jason Cockerham

(P&GJ) — Construction on the embattled Trans Mountain crude oil pipeline expansion owned by the Canadian government has begun in the City of Kamloops in the province of British Columbia. 

Trans Mountain Pipe Yard Photo: Trans Mountain

Construction preparation has begun for the Kamloops Urban Area (KUA) pipeline section that is 7 km (4 miles) in length and will take approximately 7 months to complete.  

In February, the Trans Mountain Corporation announced the estimated costs for the pipeline would end up at around C$12.6 billion ($9.47 billion), up from the previous estimate of C$7.4 billion ($5.5 billion).

The 67-year old pipeline was purchased from Kinder Morgan by the Canadian government in 2018 for C$4.5 billion ($3.3 billion).

The provincial government of Ottawa purchased the pipeline to ensure the expansion would happen after years of delays and legal challenges, but a court ruled in 2018 that Ottawa had failed to properly consult indigenous people, prompting new consultations before the government reapproved the expansion in June 2019.

In February of this year, Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal dismissed a challenge to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approval of the project.

The expansion project would nearly triple the capacity of the pipeline to 890,000 bpd by the third quarter of 2022.

“The start of pipeline construction in Kamloops, British Columbia is an important step forward on the path to building this critical piece of infrastructure,” said Ian Anderson, President and CEO of Trans Mountain Corporation.

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