“We are pleased that the Alberta Energy Regulator has approved Northern Courier, which will be a critical piece of infrastructure to support the long-term plans for growth and increased production from the Alberta oil sands,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer. “We currently expect construction on Northern Courier to begin in the third quarter of 2014, with it being ready for service by 2017.”
TransCanada was selected by Fort Hills Energy LP to design, build, own and operate the $800 million Northern Courier Pipeline Project, which is fully contracted under a long-term agreement. The approximately 90-kilometre (56-mile) pipeline system will transport bitumen and diluent products between the Fort Hills mine and bitumen extraction facility and Suncor’s East Tank Farm, located north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. Northern Courier will consist of a 24-inch diameter insulated steel pipeline to transport bitumen, and a 12-inch diameter steel pipeline to transport diluent.
Northern Courier is an important component of TransCanada’s capital growth plan, which includes $38 billion of commercially secured projects expected to be completed by the end of the decade. Of these, $3.5 billion in projects are planned to expand TransCanada’s liquids pipeline network in the province of Alberta, including the proposed Grand Rapids and Heartland pipeline projects, and new storage terminal facilities at Hardisty and in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland region northeast of Edmonton. We are committed to ensuring all of these projects are built and operated safely, responsibly and with minimal environmental impact. These projects are supported by strong market fundamentals and underpinned by long-term contracts or the revenue stability of regulated business models.
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