(Reuters) - TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO), Canada’s largest pipeline company, will build a C$3 billion ($3.01 billion) pipeline in northern Alberta with privately held Phoenix Energy Holdings Ltd to transport crude from the Athabasca oilsands.
The proposed Grand Rapids Pipeline project will carry oil for about 500 km (310 miles) between the producing area northwest of Fort McMurray and the Edmonton-Heartland region, TransCanada said.
The pipeline system, expected to be in-service by early 2017, will have the capacity to move up to 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day plus 330,000 barrels of diluent.
Diluent, often naphtha or condensate, is used to dilute heavy oil to help it move through pipelines.
“As Alberta crude oil production continues to grow, it’s critical to have the infrastructure in place to move oil to market from emerging developments west of the Athabasca river,” TransCanada Chief Executive Russ Girling said in a statement.
TransCanada, which operates the 590,000-barrel-per-day Keystone oil pipeline to the U.S. Midwest and Midcontinent from Canada, expects to apply for regulatory approval for the Grand Rapids project in 2013.
The Grand Rapids Pipeline project will be built, owned and operated by the Grand Rapids Pipeline Ltd Partnership, jointly owned by Phoenix and a wholly owned unit of TransCanada.
TransCanada will operate the system and Phoenix has entered a long-term commitment to ship crude oil and diluent on it.
Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila