Canada to buy Trans Mountain pipeline for CAN$4.5bn

The government said it has bought the project to ensure it gets built in the face of opposition

Canada has agreed to buy a controversial pipeline expansion project to ensure it gets built.

The Government of Ottawa will pay Kinder Morgan CAN$4.5 billion (£2.6bn) for the Trans Mountain pipeline, which will transport 890,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Pacific coast, where it will then be exported overseas.

The nation currently sells 99% of its oil to the US and aims to diversify imports to countries such as China.

The move to effectively nationalise the project means it will be able to overcome opposition from environmental activists and a regional government, who have presented dozens of legal challenges and conducted numerous illegal protests at construction sites.

Opponents of the pipeline say they are concerned about the risk of oil spills and leaks from tankers impacting coastal economies relying on fisheries and tourism.

Kinder Morgan investors must still approve the sale, which is planned to be concluded in August.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said: “The federal government has reached an agreement with Kinder Morgan to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline and the infrastructure related to the project.

“This allows us to get rid of the political risk around the pipeline because we are imposing federal jurisdiction over the project.”

Latest Podcast