In operation since 1953, the Trans Mountain pipeline system (TMPL) is the only pipeline system in North America that transports both crude oil and refined products to the west coast. TMPL moves product from Edmonton, Alberta, to marketing terminals and refineries in the central British Columbia region, the Greater Vancouver area and the Puget Sound area in Washington state, as well as to other markets such as California, the U.S. Gulf Coast and overseas through the Westridge marine terminal located in Burnaby, British Columbia. Only crude oil and condensates are shipped into the United States.
The TMPL mainline originates at the Edmonton terminal, located in Sherwood Park, Alberta. The terminal has 20 incoming feeder lines from throughout Alberta. It contains 19 storage tanks with an overall volume of 390 000 m3 (2.5 million bbl). The main control centre located at the Edmonton terminal remotely monitors all aspects of pipeline operations with a sophisticated Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system.
Refined products from Edmonton are routed to Kamloops for local distribution. Kamloops is also a receiving site for products from northeastern British Columbia that are bound for the west coast. The site contains two storage tanks with an overall volume of 23 000 m3 (144,000 bbl).
Sumas Pump Station and Terminal
The Sumas pump station and the Sumas terminal are located in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Both facilities route crude oil from the TMPL mainline into Washington State via KMC’s Puget Sound pipeline system. The terminal contains six storage tanks with an overall volume of 103 000 m3 (650,000 bbl).
The Burnaby terminal is the terminus of the TMPL mainline. It receives both crude oil and refined products for temporary storage and distribution through separate pipelines to local terminals, a refinery and the Westridge marine terminal. The Burnaby terminal has 13 storage tanks with an overall volume of 250 000 m3 (1.6 million bbl).
Westridge Marine Terminal
The Westridge marine terminal is located within Port Metro Vancouver in Vancouver, British Columbia. In operation since 1957, it can accommodate ships up to approximately 120 000 dead weight tons and barges. In addition to shipping crude oil, the facility also receives jet fuel, which is delivered to the Vancouver International Airport through the Jet Fuel pipeline system. The Westridge marine terminal is regulated by Transport Canada and the National Energy Board. Three storage tanks have an overall volume of 46 000 m3 (290,000 bbl).
Products in the Pipeline
TMPL transports crude oil, refined and semi-refined products together in the same line. This process, known as “batching,” means that a series of products can follow one another through the pipeline in a “batch train.”
A typical batch train in the mainline is made up of a variety of materials being transported for different shippers. Products next to each other in the pipeline can mix. This mixing - or product interface - is kept to a minimum by putting the products in a specific sequence. Any products that do mix are re-refined for use.
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