Trans Mountain pipeline agreement includes investment deadline, BC hiring priorities

Click to play video: 'Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approved in B.C.'
Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approved in B.C.
WATCH ABOVE: British Columbia approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Doug Vaessen filed this report in January 2017 – Jan 12, 2017

MERRITT, B.C. – A deal reached between British Columbia and Kinder Morgan reveals new details about the timeline to approve investments for the proposed Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion and requirements to hire local workers.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approved by B.C. government

The agreement, signed April 6, says the Kinder Morgan board of directors must reach a final investment decision by June 30 with news communicated by July 2 for the project to go ahead.

The project would twin an existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., tripling its capacity and increasing tanker traffic in the Burrard Inlet seven-fold.

The proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion route. Courtesy: Trans Mountain

READ MORE: Burnaby loses bylaw battle with Trans Mountain over pipeline expansion project

The company said last month the expansion would cost an estimated $7.4 billion, an increase from previous estimates in order to meet conditions imposed by the National Energy Board.

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The agreement also includes a policy requiring the company to consider hiring B.C. businesses and First Nations first for the construction and maintenance of the project within the province.

But local businesses and workers are prioritized only if they meet Kinder Morgan’s requirements for safety and expertise, offer competitive pricing and aren’t at odds with the company’s existing obligations.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain pipeline deal could tear national fabric: expert

A statement from the province didn’t specify the number of jobs expected, however, Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman called the agreement unprecedented.

A spokesperson for Trans Mountain said in a statement Saturday, “Next steps for the project include arranging acceptable financing and a final investment decision by Kinder Morgan.”

READ MORE: Rachel Notley defends NDP government’s pipeline push

Apart from the June 30 deadline, the spokesperson said a date has not yet been set for the company’s board to reach a final investment decision.

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