Three possible Langley pipeline routes

Final decision won’t be made for some time, project director tells chamber

Greg Toth is the senior project manager in charge of the TransMountain oil pipeline twinning project. He spoke to Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.

The man in charge of the TransMountain Oil Pipeline twinning project has confirmed that a right-of-way through Redwoods Golf Course is being considered.

Greg Toth, senior project director of the expansion project, was in Langley Tuesday night to speak to Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce about the economic benefits of the project.

The initial oil pipeline built from Edmonton to Burnaby would be twinned and able to transport up to 890,000 barrels a day of crude and refined oil products.

Fort Langley landowners have been concerned that one leg of the new pipeline has been proposed through low-lying farmland adjacent to the Salmon River, just west of Fort Langley.

The twinned pipeline will veer away from the original route to avoid going through the built-up area of Walnut Grove.

Toth told The Times that the company has recently started to consider putting the new line through the Redwoods Golf Course, which is owned by the Township of Langley.

The existing pipeline runs near Telegraph Trail, and the company wants to build the new line from its existing right-of-way to an alignment along the CN rail line, before the current pipeline enters the urban area of Walnut Grove.

Doug Hawley, general manager of Redwoods, confirmed that the pipeline company has had its surveyors approach the golf course, asking to look at the property for a potential route.

The Redwoods route is not the only one under consideration. Toth said there are at least three possible alignments for the new pipeline in Langley.

Toth said that the final route through Langley will not be determined for some time, and it will come after the company files its formal application to build the pipeline with the National Energy Board on Dec. 16.

The company is able to file “supplementals” after that date, and in several locations along the route, it has not made a final determination as to which would be the best spot for the new pipeline to be built.

In answer to a question, he said the company does not have the right to expropriate land to build the pipeline, but “it wants to minimize the impact on landowners.

“What we have to file is a route that is constructible,” he said.

If the company wants to build a pipeline on a piece of property and the landowner objects, there is a dispute resolution process that is followed, he said.

Toth told the chamber that local businesses will benefit from the pipeline construction.

In the Greater Vancouver area, about $105 million will be spent by the work force during construction, with much of that spent on meals and accommodation. There will be about 1,200 people working on the project at its peak in Greater Vancouver, with at least 200 of them hired locally.

Many others will be working along the route in various communities, and some have specialized skills.

TransMountain has already set up a website for companies offering contract services to register, and Toth encouraged local business to consider offering their services to the company.

Kinder Morgan now pays $367,000 in municipal taxes to the Township of Langley, but that figure will rise to $942,000 when the twinned pipeline is complete.

There will be an additional 90 permanent jobs created by the pipeline, putting the  number of people working along it, and at the Burnaby marine terminal, to 440.

The cost of the entire project, including construction of the pipeline, additional pumping stations, storage tanks and expanding the marine terminal, will be $5.4 billion. Total employment will be 108,000 person/years, with 66,000 of those in B.C.

Toth said the main reason Kinder Morgan is building the pipeline is to help Canadian oil producers sell their product at world prices.

At present, much oil from Alberta, including the oilsands projects, is sold for up to $40 per barrel less because of the inability to get it to the coast for shipping.

This is costing the Canadian economy about $50 million per day, with government losing out on $15 million per day in tax revenue due to the lower selling price.

If the pipeline is built, the federal government will collect an additional $2.1 billion in taxes over 20 years.

The B.C. government will collect an additional $1 billion and municipal tax revenue would climb by $530 million over 20 years, with 85 per cent of that tax paid to B.C. municipalities.

Toth anticipates that construction would begin in early 2016 if the NEB approves the twinning project, and oil would begin flowing in 2018.

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