(Adds quote, more details on pipeline)
By Selam Gebrekidan
NEW YORK, April 2 (Reuters) - Two expansion projects on Enbridge Energy partners’ Alberta Clipper pipeline will be delayed until July 2015, company president Mark Maki said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday.
Enbridge is working through a supplemental environmental review with the U.S. Department of State that will amend an initial document the company had submitted, Maki said.
“It has been a much longer process than we had hoped for,” he added.
The two expansions, which will bring the pipeline’s capacity to 800,000 barrels-per-day, will simultaneously come online next year, according to Enbridge’s new plan.
Earlier this year, Enbridge Inc Chief Executive Al Monaco had said the permitting process could be extended beyond mid-2014, delaying the company’s plan to initially expand the line by 120,000 by mid this year.
Although the Alberta Clipper is a much smaller project compared to TransCanada Corp’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline, it faces mounting opposition from environmental groups who would like to slow Canadian oil sands production.
The Alberta Clipper, also known as Line 67, now carries 450,000 bpd from Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin.
Another Enbridge project- a crude-by-rail unloading facility in Philadelphia - was delayed for a few weeks by severe weather in the U.S. East Coast, the company added. The first train is expected at the facility by mid-April.
Reporting by Selam Gebrekidan; Editing by Bernard Orr and Andrew Hay