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TransCanada spending $900 million in new Alberta pipeline, terminal

The Canadian Press

CALGARY - TransCanada Corp. plans to spend $900 million on a new pipeline connecting two Alberta oil hubs as well as a 1.9-million-barrel terminal in an industrial area north of Edmonton.

The Heartland pipeline will run 200 kilometres between the Edmonton region and Hardisty, Alta., the start point of its Keystone system. It could ultimately transport 900,000 barrels of crude per day.

The two projects are expected to come into service in the second half of 2015 — around when TransCanada expects its 830,000-barrel-per-day Keystone XL expansion project to some into service.

"With Alberta oil production projected to increase by almost three million barrels per day over the next 15 years, it is important to have the right infrastructure in place to move these resources safely and reliably to market at the right time," said Alex Pourbaix, the TransCanada executive in charge of oil pipelines.

"These projects will help link Canadian crude oil resources in northern Alberta to markets in Eastern Canada and the United States."

In addition to Keystone XL, which would enable Canadian crude to flow to Gulf Coast refineries, TransCanada also has a plan in the works to ship up to 850,000 barrels of crude per day to refineries in Montreal, Quebec City and Saint John, N.B.

Keystone XL has faced numerous delays and has been the subject of fierce environmental opposition south of the border.

TransCanada plans to file a regulatory application for the terminal this spring and one for the pipeline in the fall.

The Heartland project is TransCanada's latest move in the regional Alberta market.

In October, TransCanada and a PetroChina subsidiary announced a partnership to build the $3-billion Grand Rapids pipeline, shipping crude and diluent between oilsands projects northwest of Fort McMurray, Alta. and the Edmonton region.