Westsyde could see new pipeline route
While Kinder Morgan wants its expanded Trans Mountain pipeline to follow its current route as much as possible, Westsyde is one place where it could make an exception.
Greg Toth, project manager for the proposed expansion, appeared before Kamloops city council this week to discuss the company’s plans to more than double the pipeline’s capacity by 2017.
The current 1,150-kilometre line carries up to 300,000 barrels of heavy and light crude oil, gasoline and diesel from Alberta to B.C.’s coast per day. If the expansion goes ahead, that would increase to 750,000 barrels per day.
An application for the project has yet to be filed with the National Energy Board and Toth stressed the project is still in its early stages.
But, he said, the company is aware Westsyde residents have concerns about the expansion of a pipeline that already runs through their backyards and across The Dunes Golf Course.
Toth said there are a number of spots on the Trans Mountain route that have been built up since the original pipeline was laid in the 1950s, and in those areas the company will try to impact landowners as little as possible.
“The Westsyde area is an obvious one, where the pipeline was constructed and development has taken place around the pipeline,” he said.
“So, we’ll be looking at options won’t impact the residents.”
Other local concerns include installing pipe under the Thompson River without disturbing the environment and the line’s proximity to the proposed Ajax copper and gold mine.
Toth said Kinder Morgan has been in talks with the mine’s proponents and will need to see how blasting plans and vibrations from the site would impact the line.
While exact routing will come later, Toth said the general plan for the Kamloops area is to re-activate a small segment of pipe north of the city, then install new 30-inch pipe starting at Black Pines and running through the city. Kamloops would also get a new pumping station and twin pumps would be added at Black Pines.
He estimated the expansion would see the city receive more than $1 million extra in taxes — about doubling what it gets now — and would also see Kamloops benefit from economic spinoffs over the two years the new line will be built.
Construction, estimated to cost $4.1 billion ($2.6 billion of which would be spent in B.C.) would require about 3,200 workers, Toth said.
“Kamloops I see as a central hub. We haven’t evolved our construction planning very far yet, but we will need service support,” he said, noting the company spent about $40 million at local businesses during its last expansion project in the Jasper area in 2008.
The company hopes to have an application to the National Energy Board in 2014 and is planning community-information meetings across the province leading to that.
Kamloops will likely get an open house some time in November and, as with the Enbridge’s Northern Gateway review, part of the official hearing will likely take place in the city, Toth said.