VANCOUVER - Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. (TSX:KML) wants the National Energy Board to clear the way for work on the Burnaby, B.C., portion of its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
A statement released by the company says it wants a determination from the board allowing the work to begin, even though it has failed to obtain municipal permits from the City of Burnaby.
Kinder Morgan says Burnaby's "failure to act in a timely manner raises serious issues of jurisdiction" related to the $7.4-billion pipeline expansion from the Edmonton-area to a tank farm and port in Burnaby.
The company also wants the board to set up a process to make an "expedited determination" about similar complaints in future.
Kinder Morgan already has energy board and federal approvals to twin the pipeline, more than tripling its capacity, but earlier this month CEO Steve Kean said delays in permits and regulatory approvals mean the project could be almost nine months behind schedule.
The pipeline is slated for completion by December 2019, but Kean said recent delays had pushed back about $340 million of project spending scheduled for 2017.
Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan says the president of Kinder Morgan Canada, Ian Anderson, complained of "inordinate delays," when the two met earlier this week.
"He was in to put some pressure on me about how quickly the regulatory process was going with the City of Burnaby,” Corrigan says.
The mayor says he told Anderson he could not interfere with the process, either by telling city staff to hinder the pipeline approval or by clearing the way for it.
Kinder Morgan's statement says while it awaits the energy board's determination of its request, it remains willing to discuss solutions with the City of Burnaby.
But Corrigan says it's not a matter of negotiation, it's a matter of Burnaby completing its due diligence.
Part of the expansion project will upgrade a section of pipeline from Kinder Morgan's Burnaby terminal to its Westridge marine terminal at the eastern end of Burrard Inlet and also expand the terminal to allow for a significant increase in oil tanker traffic. (The Canadian Press, CKNW)