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Construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline near Hope, B.C., Oct. 18, 2021.JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

The projected cost of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has soared 70 per cent to $21.4 billion, while its completion is delayed.

The Crown corporation behind the massive project says the total cost has increased from its earlier estimate of $12.6 billion.

Trans Mountain Corp. partially blames the cost increases on the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the November 2021 flooding in British Columbia.

The company also says the project will not be completed until the third quarter of 2023. It was originally expected to be finished this year.

The existing Trans Mountain pipeline carries 300,000 barrels of oil per day, and is Canada’s only pipeline system transporting oil from Alberta to the West Coast. It was bought by the federal government for $4.5 billion in 2018. The expansion will raise daily output to 890,000 barrels.

Trans Mountain Corp. has also announced the retirement of president and CEO Ian Anderson, effective April 1.

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