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TransCanada’s Northern Courier pipeline green lighted

$800-million project will connect Suncor Energy Inc.'s planned Fort Hills mine to a tank farm near Fort McMurray.


CALGARY — TransCanada Corp. says its $800-million Northern Courier pipeline proposal has been given the green light by the Alberta Energy Regulator.

The project is designed to connect Suncor Energy Inc.’s planned Fort Hills oil sands mine to a tank farm near Fort McMurray, Alta., 90 kilometres to the south.

Northern Courier consists of two pipelines: one to carry bitumen out of Fort Hills and a smaller one to ship diluent, used to help oil sands crude move through pipelines, up to the mine.

TransCanada aims to begin construction during the third quarter, with start up targeted in 2017.

Hearings into another pipeline TransCanada plans to build in the oil sands region, Grand Rapids, recently wrapped up, with critics complaining the AER process was too rushed.

Grand Rapids is a 50-50 joint venture with PetroChina that would ship up to 900,000 barrels per day from near Fort McMurray to the Edmonton area.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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