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Apr 30, 2018

Trans Mountain won’t proceed without $10B Ottawa backing: Former TransCanada CEO

Not sure Trans Mountain expansion will go ahead: Ex-TransCanada CEO

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As the deadline for an agreement on construction of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion project approaches, the only way the pipeline will get built is if Ottawa puts its money where its mouth is, the former chief executive of TransCanada Corp. told BNN Bloomberg in an interview Monday.

”The only way [the Trans Mountain expansion project] could go ahead is if the government was to indemnify Kinder Morgan against a failed project halfway through… That’s a $10 billion dollar indemnity – I don’t know that’s going to happen,” Hal Kvisle said.

Last month Kinder Morgan set a May 31 deadline for reaching a deal to approve the $7.4-billion pipeline project that will ship bitumen from Edmonton to the Port of Vancouver.

The company has put the Trans Mountain project on ice, suspending all non-essential activities and spending on the project.

Last week, the B.C. government sent draft legislation to the B.C. Court of Appeal, asking it to rule whether the province has the right to put restrictions on the flow of oil through the province. 

Ottawa has said the pipeline is in the national interest and promised it will be built, but investors remain skeptical.

“I admire the Prime Minister for saying it’s going to get done but I also look at the realities Kinder Morgan has faced and the billions of dollars adding up,” said Kvisle.

The federal government should have moved earlier to alleviate British Columbians’ concerns about the pipeline, said Kvisle. 

“I think the government could have taken steps earlier on to make it much more acceptable to the people of Burnaby and the Lower Mainland and they may yet have to do that. But I think they should have done that before the clock is ticking and time is running out,” he said.