Kinder Morgan finalizes customer commitments for Trans Mountain pipeline

Kinder Morgan Canada has finalized customer commitments for a proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline and it's less than previously announced.

Shippers have signed binding 20-year contracts for about 510,000 barrels per day (bpd) of capacity on the 1,150-km pipeline, which runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, said a company press release.

"Based on these finalized commitments, the proposed expansion will increase capacity on Trans Mountain from approximately 300,000 bpd to about 750,000 bpd at a projected cost of $4.1 billion."

“We are pleased to finalize these binding contracts with our shippers and to refine the preliminary scope of the proposed project,” said Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada, in the release. “The proposed project will significantly increase market access for Canadian crude and will expand Trans Mountain by completing the twinning of the existing pipeline from Edmonton, Alberta, to Burnaby, British Columbia.”

The final commitments were about 150,000 bpd less than the company announced on April 12 due to a few shippers failing to obtain their boards’ approvals, the release said.

The company will continue to conduct consultations and prepare its application for regulatory approval for the project. If all goes as planned, it expects to file a formal application for government approval in 2014, construction would start in 2016 and the expanded pipeline would be in service by 2017.

The Trans Mountain pipeline, in operation for almost 60 years, is currently 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.

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