TransCanada Corporation: Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion Project Benefits Highlighted in Department of State Report
CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - April 16, 2010) - TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) is pleased with a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) published by the U.S. Department of State which states the company's Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion (Keystone XL) project would have limited impact on the environment.
The EIS summarizes the extensive review of the proposed Keystone XL project that has occurred in the year and a half since the application was submitted. It is also an important milestone for TransCanada as it works towards linking a growing and reliable supply of Canadian crude oil with a rising North American demand for energy.
In its summary of alternatives, the draft EIS highlights that, without the project, 'the U.S. would not receive a reliable and cost efficient source of crude oil from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) region and would remain dependent upon unstable foreign oil supplies from the Mideast, Africa, Mexico, and South America. Further, the WCSB crude oil would likely be shipped to countries outside of North America, which would require new infrastructure that would result in environmental impacts at least as great as those of the proposed Project. In addition, the transport of crude oil by tanker and other means such as truck and rail would likely result in greater GHG [green house gas] emissions than those that would occur as a result of the proposed Project'. – Draft EIS, Section ES.5.1
The EIS also reports on "cumulative impacts," including possible impacts on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The draft EIS notes that the associated "incremental impact of the Project on GHG emissions would be minor," in part because crude oil delivered to U.S. refineries by the Keystone XL project is "likely to be replacing heavy crude oil from other less reliable and diminishing sources."
Publication of the 2500+ page EIS reflects the review and analysis of more than a dozen federal and state agencies and marks the beginning of a 45-day public comment period.
TransCanada received approvals last month from both the South Dakota Public Utility Commission and the National Energy Board in Canada for the proposed Keystone XL project. Construction is planned to begin in the first quarter of 2011 and deliveries of crude oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2013.
When completed, the project will increase the commercial capacity of the Keystone Pipeline System from 590,000 barrels per day to approximately 1.1 million barrels per day. The US$12 billion system is 83 percent subscribed with long-term commitments of 910,000 barrels per day for an average term of approximately 18 years.
The Keystone XL project is a 1,959-mile (3,134-kilometre), 36-inch crude oil pipeline stretching from Hardisty, Alberta and moving southeast through Saskatchewan, Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. It will link up with a portion of the Keystone Pipeline that will be built through Kansas to Cushing, Oklahoma. The pipeline will then continue on through Oklahoma to a delivery point near existing terminals in Nederland, Texas to serve the Port Arthur, Texas marketplace.
With more than 50 years' experience, TransCanada is a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure including natural gas and oil pipelines, power generation and gas storage facilities. TransCanada's network of wholly owned natural gas pipelines extends more than 60,000 kilometres (37,000 miles), tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America. TransCanada is one of the continent's largest providers of gas storage and related services with approximately 380 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. A growing independent power producer, TransCanada owns, or has interests in, over 11,700 megawatts of power generation in Canada and the United States. TransCanada is developing one of North America's largest oil delivery systems. TransCanada's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol TRP. For more information visit: www.transcanada.com.
Cecily Dobson/Terry Cunha
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