USD Partners LP has reportedly initiated an expansion at one of the biggest crude by rail loading terminals in Canada, which it expects to complete by the end of the year. Through this expansion, the company aims to increase 50 percent capacity of its facility, reliable sources informed.
Canada’s crude by rail exports, allegedly, surged as high as around 205,000 barrels per day in June as escalating oil production in Western Canada has outpaced pipeline capacity. Exports are expected to hit a record of 300,000 barrels per day by the end of the year and should keep rising in 2019 as railways and producers sign transport deals.
Jim Albertson, senior vice president of Canadian Business Unit of USD Group, said in a statement that this expansion at Hardisty, in Alberta, will result in an increase in the loading capacity to about 225,000 barrels per day, to meet the high demand from both refinery customers and producers. He added that the company has initiated the process of expanding the Hardisty terminal, equivalent of one train a day and is planned to be in commission by the end of this year.
Albertson further revealed that the company’s plan will add a new inside loop and a second set of loading arms that will allow trains to be filled from both the sides of the current rack simultaneously. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd along with USD’s partner, Gibson Energy Inc, will be ready to flow major amount of oil to the facility by year-end, though there will be no immediate shift to three trains per day, he mentioned.
Supposedly, the speed of expansion will be moderate in the first quarter of 2019, which will allow the company to ensure that everything is seamless on the loading and outbound operations. For the record, USD had canceled an earlier expansion plan in 2016 which would have required new infrastructure and a federal environmental review at Hardisty but would have increased its capacity to four unit trains per day.