Fort Hills Energy Limited Partnership has selected TransCanada to design, build, own and operate the proposed $660m Northern Courier Pipeline project in Canada.

The 90km pipeline system will transport bitumen and diluent between the Fort Hills mine site and the Voyageur Upgrader located north of Fort McMurray in Alberta.

TransCanada president and chief executive officer Russ Girling said, "We appreciate the confidence placed in us to build, own and operate the Northern Courier Pipeline."

Under the long-term contract, Northern Courier Pipeline will service the Fort Hills Mine jointly owned by Suncor Energy, Total E&P Canada and Teck Resources and which is operated by Suncor Energy Operating.

The project is conditional on and subject to the Fort Hills project receiving sanction by its co-owners and obtaining regulatory approval.

The project, whose final pipeline route will be determined with Aboriginal and stakeholder input, will be operated by Northern Courier Pipeline GP, a subsidiary of TransCanada.

TransCanada operates 24,200km of natural gas pipelines across Alberta and 3,500km of crude oil pipelines through the operation of the Keystone Pipeline.