(Reuters) – Kinder Morgan Canada ( KML.TO ) suspended most of the work on a pipeline expansion project of C $ 7.4 billion ($ 5.80 billion) on Sunday that has become in the focus of the protests and said that he would decide before May 31 to move forward.
The firm wants to almost triple the capacity of its existing Trans Mountain pipeline, which takes crude from the Alberta oil sands to a facility in the Pacific province of British Columbia. He is currently carrying out preliminary work and construction has not yet started.
The project is considered crucial for Canada's oil industry, but the government of British Columbia is fiercely opposed, many municipalities, some Aboriginal groups and environmental activists are concerned about possible oil spills.
"We will be judicious in our use of the shareholders' funds." In accordance with that commitment, we have determined that in the current environment, we will not put the KML shareholders at risk for the remaining expense of the project, "he said in a statement. Steve Kean, president of Kinder Morgan.
The announcement is a blow to the liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who approved the bill and says it is in the national interest.
Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr, said in a statement that "with all our partners, we continue to consider all available options." He did not give details.
($ 1 = 1.2767 Canadian dollars)
Reports by David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Julie Gordon in Vancouver and Bhanu Pratap in Bangalore; Editing by David Gregorio