TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline costs up 30 pct to $15.7bn

TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline costs up 30 pct to $15.7bn

TransCanada wants to convert one of its existing natural-gas pipelines into a 4,600-kilometre oil pipeline — dubbed Energy East — that would carry 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day from Hardisty, Alberta, to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick.

TransCanada Corp (TSX, NYSE:TRP), the company behind the rejected Keystone XL pipeline, filed Thursday a revised application for its Energy East pipeline that includes route changes, and pegs the total cost of the project at $15.7 billion, compared with an initial cost estimate of $12 billion.

The new plan makes nearly 700 changes to the pipeline, which would take Alberta crude to an Irving Oil refinery in New Brunswick, in response to concerns for environmentally sensitive areas, such as the Bay of Fundy, in Atlantic Canada.

“Canadians want assurances this project does not come at the expense of safety and the environment – and this application shows we can do that,” TransCanada president and CEO Russ Girling said in a statement. “We are listening and acting on what we have heard.”

One key adjustments to the project is the elimination of a marine terminal at Cacouna, Quebec, over fears its construction and the increase in tanker traffic would damage beluga whale habitat. The Calgary-based company had previously said it was planning to remove the marine terminal from its plans.

The project would include existing TransCanada pipeline as far East as Montreal, plus new pipeline through Quebec.

The new estimated cost does not include the value of existing assets to be used for part of Energy East.

TransCanada expects the pipeline to be in operation by 2020, delivering 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Western Canada to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick and allowing for exports out of the port of St. John, N.B.

TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline costs up 30 pct to $15.7bn

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