Kinder Morgan Canada has appealed to the Canadian National Energy Board (NEB) to approve construction on its planned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion after failing to gain permits from the city of Burnaby, British Columbia.
In an October 26 statement, the company said it also wanted the NEB to establish a process to make an “expedited determination” in the event of similar cases in the future. The C$7.4 billion (US$5.7 billion) expansion was scheduled to start up on December 2019, though construction was expected to start in September this year and given that it has been delayed, the project’s launch date will likely now be pushed back too. In an affidavit filed with the NEB last week, Kinder Morgan Canada’s vice president for operations, Michael Davies, said that each month of delays to the project directly costs the company up to C$35 million (US$27 million) and deprives it of over C$90 million (US$70 million) in revenue.
Burnaby, where the project would terminate, opposes the expansion on environmental concerns. The coastal city hit back at Kinder Morgan last week, accusing the company of disrespecting municipal regulations.
“For several months, city staff have worked diligently and have also met regularly with company representatives in the process as directed by the NEB,” Burnaby’s city manager, Lambert Chu, said in a statement. “Now the company seems to want more.”
Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan has vowed to fight on to oppose the Trans Mountain expansion.
“The city remains opposed to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline project, and the council will continue to pursue every legal option to oppose the project,” he said in a statement. “We will not, however, interfere with processes that Kinder Morgan has a right to pursue, including requests for city permits.”
Through a spokesman, the NEB said it would create a review process for Kinder Morgan’s request.
The Trans Mountain expansion would nearly triple the capacity of the pipeline – running between Edmonton, Alberta, and Burnaby – to 890,000 bpd of oil. The project has federal approval but still faces environmental and political opposition in BC. This includes around 19 legal challenges from environmental groups, First Nations, and other critics who have cited concerns over the risk of oil spills from the project, both onshore and in BC waters once the oil is loaded onto tankers in Burnaby.