CALGARY • TransCanada Corp. said Thursday it has applied for presidential approval of its contentious Keystone XL pipeline proposal.

The submission of a presidential permit application officially revives the roughly US$7 billion pipeline, which rapidly regained momentum after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier this week to move ahead with the proposal.

The Calgary-based company first applied to build the pipeline in 2008. The project became a major target for environmental activists, who argued it could lead to unencumbered expansion of Canada’s oilsands and put Canada out of reach of its climate goals. The pipeline was eventually rejected by former president Barack Obama in November 2015.

In a written statement, TransCanada CEO Russ Girling said the project would “help meet America’s growing energy needs as well as create tens of thousands of well-paying jobs and generate substantial economic benefit throughout the U.S. and Canada.”

Earlier this week Girling said the company still needed to confirm shippers and determine the total capital cost of the project.

As part of his executive order, Trump signaled that an approval of Keystone XL hinged on renegotiations of the project terms, including a directive to manufacture the steel pipe used in the project at U.S.-based mills and for America to share in the profits of the project.

Girling said earlier this week the specific nature of those terms is still unclear.

Keystone XL would deliver mostly heavy grades of oil, including oilsands bitumen, from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb. From there, oil would be shipped to refineries in the Gulf Coast via existing pipelines.

Financial Post

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