CALGARY—Inter Pipeline Fund is investing approximately $45-million to more than triple the capacity of its Polaris Pipeline in northern Alberta.
The decision to expand comes in response to increased demand from Imperial Oil Resources and its Kearl oilsands project north of Fort McMurray, Alta.
According to Inter Pipeline, Imperial holds an option to increase its firm capacity on the Polaris line from the current 60,000 barrels per day to 120,000 barrels per day under the 25-year transportation deal between the two firms.
The company said it will utilize its existing 12-inch diameter Polaris diluent pipeline, which runs from the Edmonton area to the Kearl project in northeastern Alberta, to supply additional diluent transportation capacity.
Inter Pipeline plans to expand the mainline capacity through re-commissioning three existing pump stations on the Polaris system, which were removed from service in 2011.
Upon completion, capacity on the Polaris 12-inch pipeline will increase to approximately 165,000 barrels per day to meet diluent demand from Imperial and other third party shippers.
According to Inter Pipeline, the new pump station facilities are expected to be in service by the middle of 2015.