On November 29, 2016, the Government of Canada granted approval for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (the Project). Earlier on May 19, 2016, following a 29-month review, the NEB concluded the Project is in the Canadian public interest and recommended the Federal Governor in Council approve the expansion. These approvals will allow the Project to proceed with 157 conditions.
The original Trans Mountain Pipeline was built in 1953 and continues to operate safely today. The expansion is of this existing 1,150-kilometre pipeline between Strathcona County (near Edmonton), Alberta and Burnaby, BC. The expansion will create a twinned pipeline increasing the nominal capacity of the system from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day.
Some quick facts about the proposed expansion include:
- Projected capital cost is approximately $7.4* billion
- Project will create benefits including new jobs in the short and long term, job-related training opportunities and increases in taxes collected through all three levels of government
- Approximately 980 km of new pipeline
- 73% of the route would use the existing right-of-way, 16% would follow other linear infrastructure such as TELUS, Hydro or highways and 11% would be new right-of-way
- Reactivation of 193 km of reactivated pipeline
- 12 new pump stations to be built
- 19 new tanks to be added to existing storage terminals in Burnaby (14), Sumas (1) and Edmonton (4)
- Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby to be expanded with three new berths
- Existing line to carry refined products, synthetic crude oils, light crude oils with capability for heavy crude oils
- Combined government revenue impact for construction and the first 20 years of expanded operations is $46.7 billion, including federal and provincial that can be used for public services such as health care and education – British Columbia receives $5.7 billion and Alberta receives $19.4 billion
- During construction, the equivalent of 15,000 people will be working on the pipeline expansion. The expansion will also create the equivalent of 37,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs per year during operations.
- New line to carry heavier oils with capability for transporting light crude oils
- Trans Mountain plans to begin construction in September 2017 and go into service in late 2019
- Engagement with communities, landowners, stakeholders and Aboriginal communities have been ongoing since 2012 and will continue through to operation
- Environmental protection plans have been developed along the entire route. Volume 5 and Volume 6 of the Facilities Application cover the environmental assessment and protection planning. Field studies , as required, continue to be conducted along the route.
Download the project benefits overview here.
This is not the first time the Trans Mountain line has been expanded. In fact, since operation began in 1953, the capacity of the pipeline system has been increased numerous times, with the initial expansion in 1957. The most recent expansion project took place between 2006 and 2008 with the construction of 13 new pump stations and modifications to existing stations. Also during this time, the Anchor Loop project added 160 kilometres of new pipe through Jasper National Park and Mount Robson Provincial Park between Hinton, Alberta and Hargreaves, BC.
At present, the Westridge Marine Terminal handles approximately five tankers per month., Once the new berths are completed and in service, the number of tankers loaded at the Westridge Marine Terminal could increase to approximately 34 per month.
Pipelines are proven to be the safest and most efficient method to move petroleum products over great distances on land. Petroleum products can also be shipped by tanker trucks or railcars.
Every day, member companies of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) move enough crude oil and petroleum products through pipelines to fill 15,000 tanker truckloads and 4,200 railcars. The existing Trans Mountain pipeline system moves the equivalent of about 1,400 tanker truckloads or 441 tanker railcars daily.
While rail plays an increasing role in petroleum exports from Western Canada and other regions in North America, we’re focused on the safe, efficient and economic expansion of our pipeline operations serving our customers in British Columbia, Washington State and offshore.
*Actual project costs may change.