Trans Mountain to resume construction on pipeline expansion

24 Août, 2019, 05:54 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Trans Mountain pipeline expansion construction work to begin again

Construction contractors have been told they have 30 days to hire workers, prepare detailed construction plans and mobilize equipment.

The twinning project will add a second line to the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, which runs from Edmonton to Burnaby.

"With the first wave of regulatory approvals complete, we are confident that we have a path forward by which the expansion project construction can proceed", said Ian Anderson, Trans Mountain's president and CEO, in a statement.

Anderson maintains the company will continue talking to Indigenous communities and other community groups affected by the pipeline. It expects to receive clearance of all outstanding regulatory approvals and permits for the remaining construction areas over the coming months.

Supporters of the pipeline project have said it would boost Alberta's struggling oilpatch.

"Canadians have heard time and time again that Justin Trudeau wants to get pipelines built, yet in four years he has done the exact opposite", Jeneroux said in an email, citing the troubled Northern Gateway and Energy East pipeline projects. It said Wednesday that it expects the expanded pipeline would be in-service by mid-2022. But the project was halted for about a year when the Federal Court of Appeal quashed federal approval of the expansion, sending both the federal government and the NEB back to the drawing board to address two key issues raised by the court - First Nations consultations and marine impacts from increased oil tanker traffic.

Ecojustice is also representing the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Living Oceans Society in contesting the approval.

Trans Mountain said about 4,200 workers will be employed from the expansion.

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Construction will soon begin in communities along the route, including along the right-of-way in Alberta between Edmonton and Edson, and in the Greater Edmonton area, the company said. Activities will also include an immediate return to work at Burnaby Terminal and on land at Westridge Marine Terminal.

The federal government agreed to buy the pipeline from USA -based Kinder Morgan Inc. for $4.5-billion in May 2018 as the American company was ready to give up on the expansion because of continuing delays created by provincial officials and environmental groups in B.C.

The news of the construction re-start is positive, "but there is still not reason to celebrate", Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement on Wednesday.

"This project has been subjected to numerous delays and setbacks over the past several years", Anderson said. The federal government approved the pipeline construction this summer.

After a new regulatory review Trudeau's government reapproved the pipeline in June, to the relief of Canada's oil industry.

On Tuesday, the province's Energy Minister Sonya Savage blamed a lack of pipeline capacity for extending the curtailment of oil production until December 2020.

"The terminal work will be entirely located on land owned by Trans Mountain and it needs to commence by August 5 to avoid seasonal restrictions", Trans Mountain said in its application to the NEB.


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