Construction begins on Keystone XL pipeline in Alberta
The Keystone XL pipeline, which stretches between Hardisty, Alta. and Steele City, Neb., is expected to be complete and operational by 2023.
CALGARY -- More than 10 years since the project was first announced, work has finally begun on the Keystone XL pipeline as crews are now on site in Oyen, Alta.
The project, which aims to deliver 830,000 barrels of oil from Hardisty, Alta. to Steele City, Neb., is expected to take approximately two years to complete.
It will also provide more than 2,000 construction jobs to Albertans and thousands more positions in associated sectors.
"After many years of stringent environmental review, collaboration with landowners, local officials and Indigenous groups and a dogged determination to never say die, this project – essential to our economic recovery – is well underway," Premier Kenney said in a release.
The 1,947 kilometre pipeline, which costs approximately US$8 billion is being built through a $1.5 billion investment from the Alberta government.
The remaining US$6.9 billion is expected to be funded through a combination of a US$4.2-billion project level credit facility to be fully guaranteed by the Alberta government and a US$2.7-billion investment by TC Energy.
The Keystone XL pipeline project was first announced in 2008 and approved by the National Energy Board in March 2010.
Protests against the pipeline's construction began around that time and eventually led to TransCanada (now TC Energy) rerouting the line to avoid an ecologically sensitive area in Nebraska.
In Jan. 2012, president Barack Obama denied the company's first application. TransCanada submitted another route proposal and application with the U.S. State Department the following April.
Approximately three years later, the U.S. Senate approved a bill to build the pipeline, which cost, by that time, over US$8 billion. The bill was vetoed by Obama in Feb. 2015.
The Obama administration rejected the company's application to build the project later that same year.
President Donald Trump, following his 2016 election win, revived the project in 2017 by signing an executive order to approve Keystone XL.
A new presidential permit for construction was issued in March 2019 and, the following year, the Alberta government signed on to help build the pipeline.
It's expected to be complete and operational by 2023.
Further information about the project can be found on the Alberta government's website.
(With files from the Canadian Press)