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Inter Pipeline to funnel most of 2017 CapEx into NGL processing unit

Inter Pipeline Ltd. declared a 2017 CapEx program amounting to C$545 million, 87% of which has been allocated for organic growth initiatives across its business units, with the majority going to NGL processing.

Inter Pipeline expects to invest C$305 million in its NGL processing unit, mostly to push development of its planned propane dehydrogenation plant and polypropylene facility in central Alberta, according to a Dec. 19 news release. Some C$75 million would be used for engineering and long-lead procurement for the facilities, and C$195 million would go to front-end design work and construction, if the facilities receive the necessary approvals.

The petrochemical facilities would convert locally sourced propane into polypropylene and are estimated to cost C$3.15 billion. Inter Pipeline expects to make a final investment decision on the projects by mid-2017, and the in-service date is scheduled for mid-2021.

Inter Pipeline allotted C$65 million each for its oil sands transportation and conventional oil pipelines units. Under oil sands transportation, the capital includes C$6 million for early design work on the diluent and bitumen blend connection to the Kirby North oil sands project, which was part of its recently closed deal with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

C$40 million would go to the company's bulk liquid storage unit and C$70 million to sustaining CapEx, which would be spent on various upgrades and small projects in its different business segments.