Kinder Morgan pump station on Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford.

Kinder Morgan promises economic benefits to Abbotsford

Additional $1.3 million would be coming to city, according to company president Ian Anderson.

The city of Abbotsford may gain as much as $1.3 million annually in tax revenue with an expansion of Kinder Morgan’s oil pipeline.

Company president Ian Anderson presented the projected economic benefits of the Trans Mountain pipeline twinning to the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce on Friday.

Anderson is speaking to major communities along the pipeline route all month long as the company prepares its project application for submission to the National Energy Board in December 2013.

Abbotsford would be one of a handful of “hubs” along the Edmonton to Burnaby pipeline route if the $5.4 billion expansion project receives NEB approval, according to Anderson.

That would include an increase to city revenue. Kinder Morgan Canada will pay $2,065,000 in municipal property taxes to Abbotsford in 2013. Anderson said that would increase to $3,368,000 with a pipeline expansion.

At the peak of construction in the city from May 2016 to March 2017, there would be at least 275 workers based here.

Kinder Morgan estimates these workers would spend $17 million in the community, which includes $6.9 million on accommodation and $3.7 million on meals.

Province-wide, the company is expecting to create up to 4,500 temporary jobs during the 18-month construction period of May 2016 to Nov. 2017. The wide range of positions would include logging and clearing operators, welders, truck drivers, and general labourers. A list of expected openings is at transmountain.com/jobs.

The company is also encouraging potential local vendors and suppliers to pre-register online at transmountain.com/procurement.

The Trans Mountain expansion project seeks to build a second Kinder Morgan oil pipeline adjacent the existing one in order to increase carrying capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000.

The existing line in Abbotsford stretches from Sumas Mountain to the neighbourhoods of Clayburn, Matsqui, and Bradner-Mt. Lehman. The company also operates a pump station on the mountain.

The proposal to twin the line has faced intense criticism, primarily for potential environmental impacts. In 2012, the Sumas pump station spilled 110,000 litres of oil on the mountain.

Although no further public consultations are scheduled in Abbotsford, company spokesperson Lisa Clement said that more will be held in late winter or early spring when Kinder Morgan prepares additional sub-applications required by NEB.

“We’re definitely not going away. Consultation is not done, or closed, or completed, even when we file (the project application to NEB in December 2013). Once we file, our consultation continues,” said Clement.

The NEB, on its part, is holding online forums about Kinder Morgan’s application process for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Details are online at www.neb-one.gc.ca.

akonevski@abbynews.com
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