​Kinder Morgan says Trans Mountain project could be a year behind schedule

Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson. Image: Business in Vancouver

CALGARY — Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. (TSX:KML) is projecting that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project could be a year behind schedule as it continues to encounter permitting delays.

The estimate is three months further behind from the company's last estimate in December, and now potentially puts the $7.4-billion project in service by Dec. 2020 depending on regulatory, permit and legal approvals.

Kinder Morgan Canada says it has scaled back spending in 2018 to focus on securing needed final approvals for the project, which faces significant opposition from numerous Indigenous groups, environmentalists, and municipalities in British Columbia.

The company scored a victory for its project in early December when the National Energy Board ruled in its favour, allowing it to bypass some bylaws in Burnaby, B.C. that were found to be obstructing the project.

The regulator has not, however, made a decision on establishing a process to deal with potential future permitting delays for the project, as requested by the company.

Kinder Morgan Canada, majority-owned by Houston-based Kinder Morgan, repeated that if the project continues to face unreasonable regulatory risk that it may not be able to proceed with the project.

© 2018 The Canadian Press