Pipeline protesters climb on top of Kinder Morgan drill

The machine, also known as a "mole," is at a holding facility in Delta, B.C. It's meant to dig through part of Burnaby Mountain as the pipeline is built.

Kinder Morgan aware of demonstration, but says protest didn't impact its operations or construction

Two women climbed a drill commissioned by Kinder Morgan for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project on Thursday. The machine is currently at a holding facility in Delta, B.C. (Christer Waara/CBC)

UPDATE — May 4, 2018: Greenpeace Canada said the protesters came down from the drill on their own on Thursday afternoon.

EARLIER STORY:

At least two pipeline protesters have climbed on top of one of Kinder Morgan's drills in Delta, B.C.

The Greenpeace Canada activists scaled the equipment just before dawn, waving flags condemning the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

The machine, also known as a "mole," is at a holding facility in Delta. It's meant to dig through part of Burnaby Mountain as the pipeline is built.

The demonstrators climbed the drill, seen here Thursday morning at the holding facility, just before dawn. (Duncan Cairns-Brenner/Greenpeace Canada)

In an written statement, Kinder Morgan said it was aware of the demonstration but that it hasn't impacted its operations or construction on the project because the drill isn't at one of its worksites.

Construction has been slowed on the project since Kinder Morgan announced it was stopping all "non-essential spending" on the project on April 8.

The company said the decision was due to ongoing opposition from the B.C. government and its need to protect its own shareholders.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly reiterated his commitment to finish the pipeline, saying it's a project in the national interest.

The company has to date spent about $1.1 billion on the $7.4-billion project, which seeks to twin the existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C.