Trans Mountain pipeline expansion gets green light to open

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The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is complete and the Canada Energy Regulator has given the go-ahead for the project to open.

The regulator says it has approved the last remaining “leave to open” applications submitted by Trans Mountain Corp. Approval of these applications was required before the expanded pipeline could begin shipping oil.

The pipeline expansion project took four years to construct and racked up a total cost of more than $34 billion. It twins the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system from Alberta to the B.C. coast, increasing the system’s shipping capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day.

Trans Mountain Corp., the Crown corporation behind the project, says Wednesday will mark the commercial commencement date for the expansion, with both pipelines transporting oil.

But Trans Mountain Corp. says due to logistics and marine timing, the first transport ship is not expected to load with oil from the twinned line for export until the middle of May.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is owned by the federal government. The new capacity it offers is expected to help improve the price Canadian oil companies receive for their product by opening up access to global markets.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 30, 2024.


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