Kinder Morgan looks to expand tank farm, marine terminal

The proposed project to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline would include an expansion of Kinder Morgan's tank farm and the Westridge Marine Terminal on Burrard Inlet.

Details of what's being proposed were presented to the public Wednesday evening at an information session held at the Executive Plaza Hotel in Burnaby.

The Trans Mountain pipeline runs from Edmonton to Burnaby and currently carries 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil. Kinder Morgan is proposing to twin it, expanding capacity to 890,000 bpd largely to export oil sands crude to Asia.

Under the plan, the Burnaby Terminal at Shellmont Street and Underhill Avenue would see its capacity more than tripled within the existing site. The existing 13 tanks with a capacity of 1.6 million barrels of oil would be joined by 14 new tanks, bringing total capacity to 5.5 million barrels, according to the company.

A new 36-inch pipeline entering the facility from the southeast would join the existing 24-inch pipeline. Heading northwest from the tank farm to the Westridge terminal would be two new 30-inch lines in addition to the existing 24-inch pipeline.

Perhaps the more dramatic change would be on the inlet, where currently the dock at Westridge Marine Terminal is capable of loading one Aframax—whose average cargo capacity is 750,000 barrels—or smaller-sized vessel.

The proposed terminal expansion would comprise one new dock complex with three berths, each capable of loading an Aframax vessel. Once the new berths are put into use the existing one will be deactivated and demolished.

The company expects to file its formal expansion application to the National Energy Board late this year.

The project is expected to cost $5.4 million and would increase the number of tankers in Burrard Inlet from about 25 a month to 34 a month, or about 400 a year.

If it receives all the required approvals, Kinder Morgan will spend two years building the project, which would then go into service in late 2017.

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