Calgary

Coastal GasLink pipeline to go 'significantly' over budget, says TC Energy

TC Energy Corp. said Tuesday that while construction of the pipeline has been delayed, it still expects the project to be finished ahead of LNG Canada's export terminal at Kitimat, B.C., which is also currently under construction.

Construction has been delayed but is expected to end before B.C. export terminal is finished

Coastal GasLink installs pipe along its 670 kilometre route from northeastern B.C.'s gas fields. Construction began in 2019, with an originally anticipated completion date of 2023. (Coastal GasLink)

The company behind the Coastal GasLink pipeline continues to expect to go "significantly" over budget for the project and will also deliver a delayed completion date.

However, TC Energy Corp. said Tuesday it still expects the pipeline to be finished ahead of LNG Canada's export terminal at Kitimat, B.C., which is also currently under construction.

Calgary-based TC Energy was selected by LNG Canada in 2011 to design, build, own and operate Coastal GasLink. Construction began in 2019, with an originally anticipated completion date of 2023.

TC Energy said as part of its fourth quarter earnings report Tuesday that construction of the pipeline is now approximately 60 percent complete. The 670-kilometre project is intended to move 2.1 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of natural gas to LNG Canada's terminal, where it will be converted into a liquified state for export to global markets.

But head of corporate development Bevin Wirzba acknowledged in a conference call with analysts that TC Energy remains at odds with LNG Canada over projected cost increases and schedule delays. The company has previously blamed permit delays and the impacts of COVID-19 for the issues.

Wirzba declined to put a dollar value on the project's cost overruns, though he said TC Energy is engaged in a "constructive dialogue" with LNG Canada right now to resolve the dispute. He said no suspension of construction is expected while talks take place.

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