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TC Energy Plans To Move Equipment for Keystone XL Preconstruction Work

In a status report filing submitted to the US District Court of Montana, TC Energy this week said that it would start mobilizing heavy construction equipment to worker campsites and pipeline storage sites in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska in February to start preconstruction work on the Keystone XL Pipeline, according to Reuters. The company aims to begin construction in April, starting with a 1.2-mile stretch across the US-Canada border in Montana. Work on the border-crossing segment is subject to receiving federal approvals, including a right-of-way and temporary use permit, said the company.

“Having successfully reached several key milestones on the project, today we filed a status report with Judge Morris in Montana outlining our plan to commence pre-construction activities and pipeline construction this spring in Canada and parts of the US as we continue to advance this vital energy infrastructure project,” TC Energy spokesperson Terry Cunha said to the Calgary Herald.

The Keystone XL pipeline, which is the fourth and final leg of the Keystone Pipeline System, will bring heavy-oil crude from the Alberta oil sands in Canada to the US Gulf Coast refineries. It is expected to carry 830,000 bbl of crude oil and would run through the Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. It will then tie to existing pipelines to deliver the oil to the refineries, which are set up to process heavy-oil crude such as the type produced from the oil sands.

TC Energy expects work on a pipeline segment in Nebraska and building of the pumping stations along the route to start in June, followed by the start of construction of segments in Montana and South Dakota in August. Mobilizing equipment in February is critical to meet the schedule, and construction work will continue in 2021. The project is expected to take 2 years for completion.

The decade-long Keystone XL pipeline approval process has been an issue of intense protests and political battles in the US. The first proposal for approval was submitted by the pipeline company in 2009 and faced opposition from environmentalists, landowners, indigenous people, and people protesting the use of fossil fuels. US President Trump issued a presidential permit in March 2019 allowing the pipeline to construct pipeline facilities at the US and Canada border in Montana. The US State Department has yet to issue a final environmental impact statement for the pipeline.

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