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The Globe and Mail

TransCanada wins support for terminal at Keystone start

In this Feb. 28, 2008 file photo, rail cars arrive in Milton, N.D., loaded with pipe for the Keystone Pipeline project.

Eric Hylden/The Associated Press

TransCanada Corp. says it has received enough customer support to go ahead with a $275-million oil terminal at Hardisty, Alta., — the start point of the U.S.-bound Keystone pipeline.

The Calgary-based company has received binding, long-term commitments of more than 500,000 barrels per day, leading it to expand the tanks and pipeline infrastructure at the terminal to handle 2.6 million barrels from two million barrels.

The project is expected to come into service in 2014.

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"The open season held earlier this year for the Keystone Hardisty Terminal was very successful and confirms strong demand from Western Canadian producers for new infrastructure to allow them to move crude oil into the Keystone System," said CEO Russ Girling in a release.

"There is overwhelming industry support to transport crude oil safely and reliably to markets across North America."

The Keystone system currently delivers crude to refineries in Illinois and a storage hub at Cushing, Okla.

A proposal called Keystone XL to expand the capacity of the line and extend it to the U.S. Gulf Coast has met stiff resistance from environmentalists and has become a major political flashpoint south of the border.

A permit to build Keystone XL in its entirety was rejected by the Obama administration earlier this year. TransCanada plans to build the Cushing-to-Gulf leg first and has filed again for a permit to build the northern segment.

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