TransCanada Corporation is hoping to start construction on the Keystone XL pipeline in June, with the aim of bringing it online in early 2021.
Missing that target by a year “would cost the company US$949 million in lost profits and delay the hiring of about 6,600 workers,” BNN Bloomberg reports, while increasing construction costs due to competition for available construction crews.
“In a court filing on Monday, the Calgary-based pipeline company said its current schedule requires pre-construction activities, including setting up pipe yards and work camps, to resume by February,” BNN notes. “That would allow full work to begin by June and be completed in late 2020.”
TransCanada filed this week’s update with the U.S. District Court in Montana, where Judge Brian Morris issued a ruling in November requiring the State Department to conduct a new review of the project. In a decision described at the time as a “striking victory for environmental advocates”, Morris concluded the previous assessment of the project “fell short of a ‘hard look’ at the cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions and the impact on Native American land resources,” Reuters stated. TransCanada had previously hoped to start construction on the intensely controversial, US$8-billion pipeline as early as mid-February.
A hearing on the project is scheduled for January 14. But with the U.S. government in partial shutdown, Justice Department lawyers won’t be able to attend on State’s behalf. TransCanada has asked the court to hold the hearing without the government side represented, and BNN Bloomberg says Justice is supporting the request.
TransCanada also announced Wednesday that it is dropping “Canada” from its name, rebranding itself to TC Energy. “We believe the name TC Energy clearly articulates our complete business—pipelines, power generation, and energy storage operations,” said CEO Russ Girling.