Canadian regulators have recommended the approval of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline system expansion in Alberta and British Columbia. The National Energy Board (NEB) concluded that the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is in the public interest and recommended the Federal Governor in Council to approve the proposed expansion.
The NEB’s recommendation allows the project to proceed with 157 conditions if the Governor in Council approves the project. The Canadian federal government will make the final decision on the project in December.
“Trans Mountain is pleased with the NEB’s recommendation,” said Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson, in a May 20 company statement. “The decision is the culmination of a lengthy and thorough regulatory review process and considers the many thousands of hours of environmental and technical studies, scientific evidence and community engagement that has been part of this comprehensive assessment. After an initial review of the report, Trans Mountain believes the 157 project-specific conditions, many in response to input from Intervenors, are rigorous and appear to be achievable.”
Trans Mountain continues to analyze the NEB’s conditions for implications to community commitments, costs and project timeline, but is still expecting the in-service date to be December 2019.
“This report is a reflection of our evidence along with the valuable input from Intervenors and our conversations with communities, Aboriginals and individuals,” added Anderson. “Now, more than ever our project makes sense for Canada. We have demonstrated the demand for much-needed access to global markets and how building this pipeline will bring both dollars and many thousands of jobs for communities in British Columbia and Alberta at a time when our economy needs it most.”
Trans Mountain has conducted a robust public engagement program since the announcement of the proposed project in 2012 that has included consultation with thousands of individuals to date. Engagement will continue throughout the review processes, construction and operation of the expansion. Through some 159 open houses and workshops and hundreds of meetings along the pipeline and marine corridors, as well as more than 24,000 points of engagement with Aboriginal communities, Trans Mountain improved and optimized its planning and mitigation measures to address concerns.
To date, close to 40 Aboriginal groups located along the project and marine corridor in Alberta and British Columbia have provided written letters of support for the project. The project team is building long-term relationships with Aboriginal communities along the proposed pipeline corridor to create new opportunities and shared prosperity.
In spring 2012, Kinder Morgan Canada announced it will move forward with its proposed plans to expand the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline system — between Edmonton, Alberta, and Burnaby, British Columbia — following strong commitments received from its customers. The Conference Board of Canada found the project is expected to generate $46.7 billion in government revenues and 802,000 person years of employment, the equivalent of 40,000 jobs each year, over more than 20 years. For almost 60 years, the 1,150-km Trans Mountain pipeline system has been safely and efficiently providing the only West Coast access for Canadian oil products, including about 90 percent of the gasoline supplied to the Interior and South Coast of British Columbia.