The controversial project to replace and expand the Trans Mountain pipeline will be built as planned without any further delay.
In its first quarterly report since going public this past spring, Kinder Morgan says construction of the $7.4-billion, 987-km-long pipeline project from Edmonton to Burnaby will begin this September, despite the recent election of the BC NDP government, which has opposed the project, and threats from environmental activists.
Work will involve tripling the capacity of the existing pipeline, which requires replacement due to age, to handle 890,000 barrels of oil per day. Tanker traffic in Vancouver harbour is expected to increase from five to 34 per month as a result.
The company entered into construction agreements earlier this month. Pre-construction work on the pipeline as well as the expansion of tank farms and the Burnaby marine terminal could begin this fall while tunnel boring for the pipeline under Burnaby Mountain could start next spring.
It remains to be seen what newly sworn-in Premier John Horgan could do to delay the project as it has already received all of its regulatory approvals from both the federal and provincial governments. However, the pipeline could still face hurdles from pending court cases by First Nations, landowners, and activists.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has remained steadfast with his support for the project, saying the decision is based on facts and not politics.
While the Trans Mountain pipeline is slated to proceed, the federal government rejected Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat, BC. This was widely seen as a compromise for the approval of the Trans Mountain project through Metro Vancouver.