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Liberal government sees Trans Mountain system as key to clean energy transition

After years of opposition from environmental groups, an expansion to the Trans Mountain Corp. pipeline network could pave the way to Canada's transition to clean energy, Liberal Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau told publication BOE Report.

The Canadian federal government owns Trans Mountain. Morneau said Trans Mountain's expanded system was bought for a "reason," and he sees the pipeline's revenues as a financial source for the country's clean energy initiatives, according to the Oct. 24 news report. Canada's Liberal government expects revenues of C$125 million from the expanded pipeline for 2021 to 2022, which would increase to C$500 million for each of the subsequent two years, BOE said.

The Liberal government has tied the revenues of Trans Mountain's system to an annual fund of C$300 million for environmental solutions, such as tree planting and conservation and restoration of selected areas.

Morneau also said the plan would be to eventually sell the Trans Mountain system back to the private sector and use the sale's revenues for further clean energy-related projects.

The expanded pipe's completion is expected by mid-2022.

The expansion of the Trans Mountain pipe system, which was halted in August 2018, received a green light from the federal government in June this year. The expansion would increase the system's transportation capacity to 890,000 barrels per day from its current 300,000 bbl/d. Canada bought the pipe system from Kinder Morgan Inc. for C$4.5 billion.