“Whatever role Alberta takes is one that will absolutely be fiscally responsible and there's a good, solid business case for it.” – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the province is likely to end up owning a piece of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Ottawa agreed to buy the Alberta-to-British-Columbia crude conduit this spring for $4.5 billion from US company Kinder Morgan, which had threatened to walk away from a planned $7.4-billion expansion to the line because of resistance from the BC government.

Notley announced in May that her government would make up to $2 billion available, if necessary, to keep the project going. The federal and provincial governments want Trans Mountain to go ahead because it would enable Canadian crude to be shipped by tanker to countries other than the US market.

Notley said at the premier's annual Stampede pancake breakfast on Monday outside the government's Calgary offices that her government is likely to buy a small equity stake in the pipeline. "I think there's a good possibility ... but I honestly can't get into much more detail on it until all the final decisions are made," she said.

"What I will say is whatever role Alberta takes is one that will absolutely be fiscally responsible and there's a good, solid business case for it. If anything, it will open up opportunities for other Albertans," Canadian Press reported.

Notley later met with her cabinet, telling ministers that pipe has already begun arriving at yards in the province and construction is on track to begin this month.

Meanwhile, Trans Mountain has filed a six-month construction schedule with the National Energy Board for the expansion project.

The company says work has been underway since last fall in Burnaby, BC, and will continue along with additional work in the Lower Mainland. It will begin this month to develop the Westridge Marine Terminal tunnel portal at Burnaby Mountain and relocate existing infrastructure to expand the Burnaby Terminal.

Work on a 290-kilometre stretch of pipeline between Edmonton and Jasper National Park will start in August and include surveying, staking and flagging the right-of-way.

In September, surveying, staking and flagging the right-of-way will begin in North Thompson, BC, on a 120-kilometre stretch between Mt. Robson Provincial Park and Blue River.