12/16/2013 03:14 EST | Updated 02/15/2014 05:59 EST

Kinder Morgan files for Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Kinder Morgan has officially filed an application to expand its Trans Mountain Pipeline, which would triple its capacity to ship crude oil between Alberta and Port Metro Vancouver.

The company released a statement on Monday morning saying it had filed its application with the National Energy Board.

“For the past 18 months we have engaged extensively with landowners, aboriginal groups, communities and stakeholders along the entire proposed expansion route, and marine communities, and have carefully considered the input received during this period of study and dialogue,” said the president of Kinder Morgan Canada, Ian Anderson, in the statement.

The company said the next step will be for the NEB to establish a hearing schedule that corresponds to the federal government’s legislated 15-month period for review and decision.

If approved, work on the $5.4 billion project to revamp the 1,150-kilometre, 60-year-old pipeline could be complete by late 2017, said the company.

The application for the Trans Mountain pipeline proposal comes just days before the NEB is expected to release its report in to the Northern Gateway pipeline application.

Both projects have run into fierce resistance from both environmental and political leaders in B.C. who say the projects carry too much risk for the environment.