The Trans Mountain expansion project would triple the capacity of the existing pipeline between Edmonton and a shipping terminal in Burnaby, B.C. (Canadian Press file images)

Trans Mountain pipeline expansion cost jumps 70% to $12.6 billion

The estimate of $7.4 billion was made in 2017 by the previous owner

The cost to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has jumped by 70 per cent to $12.6 billion from a three-year-old estimate of $7.4 billion.

President and CEO Ian Anderson says the company owned by the federal government has spent $2.5 billion to date, including the impact of delays and additional regulatory processes, leaving an additional $8.4 billion needed to complete the project, plus $1.7 billion of financial carrying costs.

He says the project is now expected to be in service by December 2022.

The estimate of $7.4 billion was made in 2017 by the previous owner, Houston-based Kinder Morgan, Inc., which sold the expansion project and the existing pipeline to the federal government in 2018 for $4.5 billion.

Opponents have attacked the greenhouse gas emission and oil spill risks of the pipeline project but they’ve also charged it will be a money-loser with unproved markets in Asia that will fail financially and leave the public holding the bag.

Anderson says the company is recommending that Ottawa, as owner and lender, set aside a further $600 million reserve for cost impacts beyond the control of Trans Mountain.

Opponents of the pipeline expansion have vowed to do whatever it takes to stop the project despite losing a legal challenge before the Federal Court of Appeal earlier this week.

The four First Nations who lost the court challenge on Tuesday have 60 days to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The expansion project would triple the capacity of the existing pipeline between Edmonton and a shipping terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

The Canadian Press

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