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Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Delayed Again…

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project to Westridge Marine Terminal in Vancouver Harbour looks set to face yet another delay in completion due to “technical issues”.

In a statement released to their website on January 29, Trans Mountain advised that it had once again run into construction challenges in B.C. and may have to further push back the estimated completion date of the first quarter, of 2024.

The project, bought by the Canadian Federal Government in 2018, in what was a bit of a bailout for Kinder Morgan at the time, has encountered numerous construction delays, faced strong environmental opposition, and of course, just like any time the government is paying, has rung up huge cost overruns. The budget has in fact already gone close to six times over the original estimate, from $5.4 billion to $30.9 billion

When the expansion is finally completed, tanker traffic from the Westridge Marine Terminal is expected to quadruple, loading up to approximately 34 tankers per month. The size of tankers calling at Westridge will not change, however, with the largest tankers remaining Aframax-size vessels.

This substantial increase in tanker traffic going into and out of Westridge is also going to lead to delays for some other vessels loading east of 2nd Narrows in Burrard Inlet. As the Vancouver Harbour Master has elected to prioritize the movement of tankers vessels, we will inevitably see sulphur and potash vessels that load at Pacific Coast Terminals being shut out of transit tidal windows through 2nd Narrows, in order to make way for the tankers.