Pipeline expansion still in planning stages

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Kinder Morgan Canada operates an oil pipeline that travels through the North Thompson Valley and Kamloops.

And, while the company prepares for an expansion, officials caution plans are still in the early stages.

A full expansion would mean twinning the entire line.

Earlier this month at a conference in Calgary, the president of Kinder Morgan said the company plans to gauge the market this fall to determine if there is commercial interest in expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline System.

Though expansion of the pipeline has been discussed for years, the president’s address appeared to signal the company intends to move forward with its pipeline plans.

“We weren’t going to be expanding our system unless we had commercial support for an expansion. This is just following that plan,” Kinder Morgan spokesman Andrew Galarnyk told KTW.

The basic plan is for Kinder Morgan to expand the 1,150-kilometre pipeline, which transports petroleum from Edmonton, through Kamloops, to a Burnaby terminal.

Galarnyk said only once there is market interest would the company develop an application and proceed to the next phase, which includes consultation with the various communities along the line.

He added until the company gets a response from customers, Kinder Morgan won’t know the size of the expansion.

“There will be consultation within Kamloops and the surrounding area,” Galarnyk said.

The Kamloops terminal, which is also a receiving site for other Kinder Morgan products from northeastern B.C. bound for the West Coast, contains two storage tanks with an overall volume of 144,000 barrels.

The terminal is located at the west end of Kamloops, on the south side of  Highway 5.