Kinder Morgan on track to start Trans Mountain construction in September, CEO says

Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. plans to start construction on its $7.4-billion Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion on time despite unceasing opposition, the pipeline operator’s chief executive officer says.

In the first financial report since Kinder Morgan Canada’s initial public offering of restricted voting shares less than two months ago, CEO Ian Anderson said on Wednesday the company is completing contracts needed to start work on the expansion anticipated by Canada’s oil patch.

That is in the face of uncertainty hanging over the project because of an approaching court case and a new government in British Columbia that is not in favour of the venture. There have also been warnings of demonstrations similar to the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in the United States last year.

Read more: What Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline will mean for B.C.’s coast

“We are on track to begin construction in September and expect to have the project in service at the end of 2019,” Mr. Anderson said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with the provincial government in British Columbia to complete this project, which is critically important to Canada, providing jobs, opportunities and much needed market access.”

In the second quarter, Kinder Morgan Canada reported net earnings of $25.1-million, which includes $4.2-million or 11 cents a share available to the restricted-voting stockholders. That is about half the $51.7-million it reported a year earlier. Revenue was slightly higher at $168.7-million.

Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. floated the shares in its Canadian unit in May, raising $1.75-billion. It still owns 70 per cent. The stock sold for $17 a share, but has traded below that level since the offering, amid uncertainty over the fate of the marquee project. The stock closed at $15.98 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Besides Trans Mountain, Kinder Morgan Canada operates oil terminals in Alberta and British Columbia as well as the Cochin pipeline that carries condensate from Illinois to Alberta.

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