Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, the parent company of Kinder Morgan Canada, has announced an increase in their proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which passes through the Robson Valley near Valemount.

The company says new long-term contracts with shipper clients bring the total committed volume to approx. 700,000 barrels per day (bpd). These additional commitments will result in an increase in the proposed expansion capacity from 750,000 bpd to 890,000 bpd.

In a press release, the company says the entire expansion represents a capital investment of $5.4 billion and will complete the twinning of the existing pipeline from Strathcona County, Alta, to Burnaby, BC where it is shipped to refineries abroad.

For the past 60 years, the 1,150-km Trans Mountain pipeline system has provided the only West Coast access for Canadian oil products, including the majority of the gasoline supplied to the interior and south coast of British Columbia. If approved, the project is slated to be operational in 2017.

The company says 13 customers in the Canadian producing and oil marketing business have now signed binding, long-term contracts, which demonstrates the need for this proposed expansion that will serve both existing and new markets.

The companies consist of BP Canada Energy Trading Company, Canadian Natural Resources, Canadian Oil Sands Limited, Cenovus Energy Inc., Devon Canada Corporation, Husky Energy Marketing Inc.,
Imperial Oil Limited, Nexen Marketing Inc., Statoil Canada Ltd., Suncor Energy Marketing Inc., Suncor Energy Products Partnership, Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company and Total E&P Canada Ltd.

Trans Mountain applied to the National Energy Board (NEB) in 2012 for approval of the toll methodology that would govern an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline and expects a decision by mid-2013.

“Trans Mountain has an existing footprint, established relationships and a superb safety record,” said Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada, in a news release. “Over the next several months, we’ll be doing additional engineering work and studies to assess how the increased capacity will impact the scope of the project.”

Trans Mountain expects to file a Facilities Application with the National Energy Board in late 2013, for authorization to build and operate the necessary facilities for the proposed expansion. The application will include the environmental, socio-economic, Aboriginal engagement, landowner and public consultation and engineering components and initiate a comprehensive regulatory and public
review process.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners owns an interest in or operates approx. 46,000 miles of pipelines and 180 terminals.