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Keystone XL project will bring economic boost to small Alberta town
EDMONTON -- A small town southeast of Edmonton is set for a much-needed economic boost.
The long-awaited Keystone XL pipeline project is back on thanks to a big investment from the provincial government. And Hardisty, Alta., is ready for construction to begin.
"It's a huge benefit to the town," Hardisty Mayor Irving Douglas told CTV News Edmonton. "I would say probably about 70 per cent of our town is reliant on oil and gas."
The provincial government will invest $1.5 billion in the project this year and provide a $6-billion loan guarantee in 2021. The agreement with Calgary-based TC Energy Corporation was finalized after six months of negotiations.
"This investment in Keystone XL is a bold move to re-take control of our province’s economic destiny and put it firmly back in the hands of the owners of our natural resources, the people of Alberta," Premier Jason Kenney said in a written release.
Once complete, the 1,947 kilometre-long pipeline will be capable of transporting 830,000 barrels of Alberta crude each day to Steele, Neb. And it will start in Hardisty.
Initially, the project is expected to create about 300 jobs in the town. Those jobs will mainly be involved in building infrastructure that links the new pipeline to the existing ones that bring oil into Hardisty.
The town expects to see more permanent jobs as well, once the oil is flowing in 2023.
Construction is set to begin immediately, welcome news for a community also facing the economic impacts of COVID-19.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Bill Fortier