Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is increasing the scope of its Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion in Western Canada.
Subsidiary Kinder Morgan Canada said Thursday that increased long-term commitments from shippers have convinced it to ramp up the proposed expansion capacity to 890,000 barrels per day from a previously planned 750,000.
The expansion represents a capital investment of $5.4 billion and will complete the twinning of the existing pipeline from Strathcona County, Alta., to Burnaby, B.C.
Kinder Morgan said 13 customers in the Canadian producing and oil marketing business have now signed binding, long-term contracts "which demonstrates the need for this proposed expansion that will serve both existing and new markets."
"Trans Mountain has an existing footprint, established relationships and a superb safety record," Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson said in making the announcement.
"Over the next several months, we'll be doing additional engineering work and studies to assess how the increased capacity will impact the scope of the project," he said, adding that the company would continue "our open and inclusive engagement program already underway with landowners, communities and aboriginal groups."
Trans Mountain applied to the National Energy Board in 2012 for approval of the toll methodology that would govern an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline and expects a decision by mid-2013.
The almost 60-year-old, 1,150-kilometre Trans Mountain pipeline system provides the only West Coast access for Canadian oil products, including the majority of the gasoline supplied to the Interior and south coast of British Columbia.
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. is a leading North American pipeline transportation and energy storage company. It has an interest in or operates some 74,000 kilometres of pipelines and 180 terminals.