On-Site Magazine

With construction complete, expanded Trans Mountain pipeline starts operations

By Adam Freill   

Construction Infrastructure

New pipeline twins existing Trans Mountain pipeline system, increasing capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day.

The “Golden Weld” on the expanded Trans Mountain Pipeline was completed on April 11, near the Mountain 3 Horizontal Directional Drill in the Fraser Valley between Hope and Chilliwack, B.C. (Photo courtesy of Trans Mountain)

On May 1, the expanded system of the Trans Mountain Pipeline reached its commercial commencement milestone. In late April, the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) approved the final leave to open (LTO) application, meaning that the pipeline is now authorized to carry crude oil from Trans Mountain’s Edmonton Terminal, located in Strathcona County, Alta., to its Westridge Marine Terminal, located in Burnaby, B.C.

Mechanical completion of the pipeline happened on April 30 and, with both the existing and expanded pipelines now able to transport crude oil, tankers are expected to be able to receive oil from Line 2 by mid-May.

“Trans Mountain has demonstrated that challenging, long linear infrastructure can be built in Canada,” said Dawn Farrell, president and CEO of Trans Mountain Corporation. “With our project management team and contractors, we were able to build 988 kilometres of new pipeline, 193 kilometres of reactivated pipeline, 12 new pump stations, 19 new storage tanks, and three new berths at Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby. We did this while adhering to the highest environmental, safety and social standards including respecting and working with local First Nations and Métis communities throughout the entire process.”

In a joint statement, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and that province’s Minister of Energy and Minerals, Brian Jean, stated, “Alberta is celebrating an important achievement for the energy industry – the startup of the twinned Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project (TMX). It’s great news for Albertans and Canadians, as this will welcome a new era of prosperity and economic growth.”


The pair pointed to the export opportunities the province will be able to meet, adding, “We are excited that Canada’s biggest and newest oil pipeline in more than a decade can now bring oil from Edmonton to tidewater in B.C. This will allow us to get our energy resources to Pacific markets, including Washington State and California, and Asian markets like Japan, South Korea, China and India.”

In its announcement about the final LTO for the project, CER added that their involvement in the pipeline is ongoing.

“Today marks a significant milestone, and we recognize that our regulatory oversight role continues as we ensure the pipeline is operated safely and the company delivers on its commitments,” said Tracy Sletto, chief executive officer at CER. “We hold the companies we regulate to the highest standards, and our commitment to that remains steadfast. We also look forward to continuing our collaboration with the IAMC-TMX, and recognize that meaningful First Nations, Métis and Inuit involvement in regulatory oversight is key to building and operating energy projects now and into the future.”

Premier Smith and Minister Dean said that the province views the pipeline’s completion as monumental for Alberta, tripling the pipeline’s capacity, and providing the ability to carry 890,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta’s oil sands to British Columbia’s Pacific Coast.




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