Trans Mountain expansion project site has been a COVID-free zone, says CEO

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Trans Mountain expansion project site has been a COVID-free zone, says CEO
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The federal government-owned Trans Mountain pipeline says it has managed to maintain its workforce COVID-free — at a value of greater than $1 million.

When the pandemic started, many feared that main useful resource initiatives just like the Trans Mountain enlargement may change into vectors for the novel coronavirus in distant and Indigenous communities.

In a public replace issued this week, Trans Mountain president and CEO Ian Anderson mentioned that, as of the top of September, the corporate had spent an extra $1.2 million on pandemic security measures akin to common temperature checks, private protecting gear, new hygiene practices and office changes to permit for bodily distancing.

To this point, he mentioned, these measures have paid off.

“I’m happy to report that we now have had no office transmitted infections of COVID-19 throughout the undertaking or the corporate,” Anderson mentioned.

Trans Mountain briefed the general public at the digital annual common assembly of the Canadian Growth and Funding Company (CDEV) on Tuesday. CDEV manages the company investments of the Canadian authorities, akin to Trans Mountain.

The federal authorities bought the pipeline from Kinder Morgan in 2018 for $4.5 billion, after a number of courtroom challenges and vocal opposition to the pipeline’s enlargement undertaking spooked the Texas-based firm. 

The newly created Crown company introduced in February that the price of development had elevated to $12.6 billion. On Tuesday, nonetheless, Anderson mentioned the undertaking continues to be inside its funds and on monitor for completion in December 2022.

“Regardless of the unprecedented problem of this worldwide pandemic, Trans Mountain’s enlargement undertaking prices and schedule stay intact,” Anderson mentioned.

Transparency considerations 

Sometimes, these conferences are alternatives for CDEV and its company entities to instantly reply the general public’s questions. Because of the pandemic, CDEV opted to solicit questions beforehand and add pre-recorded statements from the heads of its three subsidiaries. 

However NDP finance critic Peter Julian informed CBC Information Wednesday he nonetheless has unanswered questions on development prices.

“We’ve not gotten responses. They haven’t been forthcoming,” Julian informed CBC Information. “The whole lack of transparency is a significant concern.”

Eugene Kung, employees lawyer with West Coast Environmental Regulation, mentioned the digital assembly did not present significant solutions in regards to the multi-billion greenback undertaking. 

“What we noticed was some ready and scripted remarks,” Kung mentioned. “That did not notably shine any extra gentle on Trans Mountain than we knew.”

Trans Mountain, Kung mentioned, wants to supply the general public with an up to date financial forecast that reveals whether or not the pipeline continues to be viable within the wake of latest market adjustments.

Kung mentioned it is “infuriating and astonishing” that it was simpler to get details about Trans Mountain when it was owned by a personal sector firm.

Trans Mountain President Ian Anderson pauses whereas talking in the course of the Better Vancouver Board of Commerce’s annual Vitality Discussion board, in Vancouver on Thursday, November 30, 2017. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

CBC reached out to Trans Mountain and CDEV for remark however did not obtain a response. CDEV’s board chair, Steve Swaffield, mentioned on the annual common assembly on Tuesday that it fielded a lot of questions and feedback from the general public.

“We acquired many emails, virtually all of which have been statements or opinions each in opposition to and in favour of the Trans Mountain enlargement undertaking,” Swaffield mentioned.

CDEV adopted up with responses to the messages that have been “particular questions,” he mentioned.

Enlargement 16% full

The Trans Mountain enlargement undertaking was 16.2 per cent full on Sept. 30 and has employed roughly 4,200 folks, Anderson mentioned. Building is predicted to peak in 2021, he mentioned, making it a significant driver of B.C. and Alberta’s COVID-19 financial restoration.

Though Trans Mountain has not revealed its newest monetary outcomes, Anderson mentioned it had spent $880 million in capital expenditures over the final quarter for constructing the enlargement. Within the first 9 months of 2020, he mentioned, it spent $2.1 billion on development.

Trans Mountain shipped 325,000 barrels of oil within the third quarter, exceeding its 2019 forecast of 316,000 barrels per day. However for the entire yr up to now, the pipeline is under-performing, averaging at 305,000 barrels per day.

The twinning of the 1,150 kilometre-long Trans Mountain pipeline will almost triple its capability to an estimated 890,000 barrels a day and improve site visitors off B.C.s coast from roughly 5 tankers to 34 tankers a month. (CBC Information)

When it is completed, the Trans Mountain enlargement undertaking will twin the prevailing Alberta-to-British Columbia line and increase the pipeline’s capability from about 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day.

The expanded pipeline will instantly produce 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gasoline emissions yearly, which has been factored into Canada’s emission targets.

Though it is tough to account for oblique emissions, Setting and Local weather Change Canada estimates the upstream emissions add 21 and 26 megatonnes of carbon dioxide per yr, based mostly on 2015 calculations. These numbers do not account for land use adjustments and electrical energy or different fuels used elsewhere.

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