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Trans Mountain believes that the revision of its costs is “justified and reasonable”” /></p>
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<p class=A pipeline segment was lowered into the Coquihalla River by Trans Mountain near Hope, British Columbia on September 9 August 2022.

The Canadian Press

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The company building the Trans Mountain pipeline between Alberta and British Columbia is trying to demonstrate that Canadian oil companies should charge higher tolls because of the rising costs of its pipeline project.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Trans Mountain says in new regulatory documents filed Friday that the increase in costs for the pipeline expansion project was reasonable and justified.< /p>

The state-owned company had successfully requested authorization to impose higher duties on oil companies once the pipeline expansion is operational, but only on an interim basis until for the Canada Energy Regulator to render a decision.

Trans Mountain wants to charge a benchmark toll that would represent nearly double the amount estimated in 2017, in an effort to recoup some of the growing capital costs of its pipeline expansion project.

The cost estimate for the project, more than 97% complete, fell from $7.4 billion in 2017 to $30.9 billion.

In a written statement, Trans Mountain says its project was disrupted by extraordinary factors, including evolving compliance requirements, accommodation measures for Indigenous groups, stakeholder engagement and compensation requirements, extreme weather and the COVID-19 pandemic: “These requirements are driving up project costs. »

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The Trans Mountain pipeline, purchased by the federal government in 2018, is the only one that goes to Canada's west coast. Its nearly completed expansion project will increase the pipeline's capacity by 590,000 barrels per day to a total of 890,000 barrels per day, improving Canadian oil companies' access to export markets.

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Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project route

Trans Mountain claims it will assume 70% of the project's cost overruns. As a result of this overrun, the Crown corporation believes it will generate only modest returns during the first years of operation of the expanded pipeline.

Trans Mountain says lower tolls could impact its ability to meet its financial obligations.

In a file separate regulatory filing last week, Trans Mountain resubmitted a new application to modify its pipeline, after its request had previously been denied. The company wants to change the size of the pipe for a section of the project in British Columbia, due to soil characteristics in that segment that make construction conditions difficult.

If the exemption is not granted, the company fears that the completion of the project could be delayed by two years.

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