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Why is the Trans Mountain expansion the only major pipeline project still on the go in Canada?

Last Updated Oct 6, 2017 at 11:23 am PST

(Courtesy: transmountain.com)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – After yesterday’s announcement by TransCanada that it was cancelling its proposed Energy East pipeline from Alberta to the East Coast, why is Kinder Morgan still pushing ahead with its Trans Mountain expansion from Edmonton to Burnaby?

Michael Moore, an energy economics professor at Cornell University, says there’s a simple reason the country’s only major pipeline project with a greenlight is still a “go.”

“That pipeline is proposed in an existing right of way. So, it doesn’t really cover a lot of new grounds. It’s not a greenfield project. And it’s going into facilities that have been in operation since 1953.”

“They’ve got a pretty strong history, albeit without this expansion, of using the ports out of Burnaby and English Bay to get their products out to the Pacific market. So, in that sense, they have a dedicated and already-existing market that they can address,” he adds.

Moore says the company is also just trying to expand capacity to meet demand from an existing market rather than create an entirely new one, as was the case with other proposed projects.