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Railway seeks approval to better service Alberta’s oil sands

EDMONTON, Alta. -- Canadian Pacific announced it has sought regulatory approval to construct rail lines to serve pl...

EDMONTON, Alta. — Canadian Pacific announced it has sought regulatory approval to construct rail lines to serve planned and existing bitumen upgraders northeast of Edmonton in Alberta’s developing Industrial Heartland.

“Acquisition of the necessary land to assemble the rail right of way was a strategically important initiative for CP,” said CP president and CEO Fred Green. “It strengthens CP’s commitment to the growth objectives of the oil sands industry, contributes to lasting economic benefits for the Province of Alberta and provides significant scope for CP shareholder value creation.”

The railway has made arrangements for 16 miles of right of way that will provide the ability to develop direct rail service to industries locating on either side of the North Saskatchewan River. The project description, the first step in the regulatory process, will be filed with the Canadian Transportation Agency immediately.

“CP’s expansion will provide rail access to new markets for the industries which have made, or will make, the decision to invest in the Industrial Heartland,” said Green. “Our objective will be to build in tandem with the oil sands upgraders and related businesses to create a new network of rail access and strengthen the industry’s supply chain competitiveness in world markets.”

To lay the foundation for this multi-year growth initiative, CP will immediately invest $15 million in capital for new infrastructure to increase fluidity and distribution and logistics capacity.

CP will first offer expanded transload capabilities for in-bound construction materials, including dimensional shipments required by the upgraders.

“Our vision is to create a rail network focused on the movement of by-products created from upgraders in the Industrial Heartland which include sulphur, petroleum coke, asphaltene and various liquids and gases,” said Ray Foot, CP’s vice-president of marketing and sales, merchandise. “While the market potential varies based on the timing of the upgraders and facilities, the total rail market will be significant and we will work closely with producers and governments at all levels to pace the right level of capital investment to new business opportunities.”

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