MERRITT, B.C. – A deal reached between British Columbia and Kinder Morgan reveals new details about the company’s timeline to approve investments for a proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline and requirements to hire local workers.
The agreement, signed April 6, says the Kinder Morgan board of directors must reach a final investment decision by June 30 with news communicated by July 2 for the project to go ahead.
The project would twin an existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., tripling its capacity and increasing tanker traffic in the Burrard Inlet seven-fold.
The company said last month the expansion would cost an estimated $7.4 billion, an increase from previous estimates in order to meet conditions imposed by the National Energy Board.
The agreement also includes a policy requiring the company to consider hiring B.C. businesses and First Nations first for the construction and maintenance of the project within the province.
But local businesses and workers are prioritized only if they meet Kinder Morgan’s requirements for safety and expertise, offer competitive pricing and aren’t at odds with the company’s existing obligations.
A statement from the province didn’t specify the number of jobs expected, however, Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman called the agreement unprecedented.
A spokesperson for Trans Mountain said in a statement Saturday, “Next steps for the project include arranging acceptable financing and a final investment decision by Kinder Morgan.”
Apart from the June 30 deadline, the spokesperson said a date has not yet been set for the company’s board to reach a final investment decision.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the agreement was signed with Trans Mountain.