Trans Mountain resumes construction on £4.6bn pipeline expansion


Trans Mountain, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corporation, has restarted construction on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

The original Trans Mountain Pipeline was constructed in 1953, and the expansion involves a twinning of the 1,150km pipeline between Strathcona County (near Edmonton), Alberta and Burnaby, British Columbia.

The project will create a pipeline system with the capacity increasing from 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 890,000bpd.

The existing pipeline system moves the equivalent of about 1,400 tanker truckloads or 441 tanker railcars daily.

The company has issued ‘Notice to Proceed’ to its prime contractors to commence mobilisation of the initial workforce to build the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

The contractors now have 30 days to mobilise equipment and begin hiring workers, procure goods and services, and develop detailed construction work plans.

Construction will begin in communities along the route, including along the right-of-way in Alberta between Edmonton and Edson, and in the Greater Edmonton area.

The notice will allow the immediate restart of work at Burnaby Terminal and on land at Westridge Marine Terminal.

However, start dates in the remaining construction areas are subject to final regulatory approvals and permits.

The Government of Canada approved the Trans Mountain Expansion Project on 18 June 2019.

The expansion project will be approximately 980km of new pipeline.

Around 73% of the route will use the existing right-of-way, 16% will follow other linear infrastructure, including telecommunications, hydro or highways, and 11% will be new right-of-way.

The expansion will include 193km of reactivated pipeline.

As part of the expansion, 12 new pump stations will be built, and 19 new tanks will be added to the storage terminals in Burnaby (14), Sumas (1) and Edmonton (4).

Three new berths will be established at Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby.

The existing pipeline will carry refined products, synthetic crude oils, light crude oils and heavy crude oils. The new pipeline will carry heavier oils and light crude oils.

The project is expected to cost C$7.4bn (£4.6bn).

Around 15,000 people are expected to work on the pipeline expansion during construction. The expansion is expected to create 37,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs per year during operations.

Around 4,200 people are expected to be employed in various communities along the corridor in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is expected to begin operations by mid-2022.


Image: Rendering of Burnaby Terminal. Photo: Courtesy of Trans Mountain Corporation.

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