Indigenous Communities Take Stake in Essential Energy Infrastructure as Canadian Utilities, an ATCO Company, Completes Sale of Alberta PowerLine
CALGARY, Alberta, Dec. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ATCO Ltd. (TSX: ACO.X, ACO.Y) / Canadian Utilities Limited (TSX: CU, CU.X)
Canadian Utilities Limited (CU), an ATCO company, along with Quanta Services, Inc. (Quanta) (NYSE:PWR), has completed the previously announced sale of Alberta PowerLine (APL), a partnership between CU (80 per cent) and Quanta (20 per cent).
“We are extremely proud of this world-class project and of the many Indigenous partnerships we fostered at each stage of development,” said Siegfried Kiefer, President & Chief Executive Officer, CU and President, ATCO. “Alberta PowerLine exemplifies a new model for Canada and showcases how industry and Indigenous communities can work together to develop energy infrastructure that benefits all stakeholders. Going forward, this transaction improves our financial strength and positions CU to further grow our global portfolio of utility and energy infrastructure assets, while reliably delivering operational excellence to customers at home and abroad.”
With the completion of the sale, seven Indigenous communities in Alberta now have a combined 40 per cent equity ownership in this essential Canadian energy infrastructure project: Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Bigstone Cree Nation, Gunn Métis Local 55, Mikisew Cree First Nation, by way of its business arm, the Mikisew Group of Companies, Paul First Nation, Sawridge First Nation and Sucker Creek First Nation.
“The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, ACFN, is enthusiastic to align itself with the Alberta PowerLine project,” said Chief Allan Adam, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. “Through this exciting endeavor, it will further position ACFN as a leader in electricity generation and transmission projects while providing long-term sustainable economic opportunities to the approximately 1300 members of the nation.”
“It is important for a community like ours to be able to become active participants in energy development in our province,” said Chief Silas Yellowknee, Bigstone Cree Nation. “By taking partial ownership of this critical piece of infrastructure, we have become direct participants in Alberta’s energy sector. We know this is a valuable investment for our community and our people that will bring economic development and provide long-term benefits for generations to come.”
"The community of Paul First Nation is looking forward to this great partnership that will provide economic benefits to our members," said Chief Arthur Rain, Paul First Nation.
“Gunn Métis Local 55 (Lac Ste. Anne Métis) is very proud to be an Alberta PowerLine equity partner,” said Murleen Crossen, President, Gunn Métis Local 55. “The commitment shown by Canadian Utilities to walk the talk of economic reconciliation is something we hope to see other companies model. The transformation of the relationship, from stakeholder to co-owner of major energy infrastructure, is key to our efforts to build community economic development capacity for future generations."
The remaining 60 per cent of APL was acquired by a consortium including TD Asset Management Inc., for and on behalf of TD Greystone Infrastructure Fund (Global Master) L.P., and IST3 Investment Foundation acting in respect and on behalf of its investment group IST3 Infrastruktur Global.
CU will receive aggregate proceeds of approximately $220 million for its interest in APL and will remain as the operator of APL over its 35-year contract with the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). RBC Capital Markets acted as financial advisor to CU and Quanta.
APL was selected in 2014 by the AESO to develop, design, build, finance, own, operate and maintain the Fort McMurray West 500-kV Transmission Project. The transmission project was energized in March 2019, three months ahead of schedule, on-budget, with an impeccable safety record. The project is the longest 500-kV AC transmission line in Canada and was ranked among the top 50 infrastructure projects in the country.
With approximately 5,000 employees and assets of $22 billion, Canadian Utilities Limited is an ATCO company. Canadian Utilities Limited is a diversified global energy infrastructure corporation delivering service excellence and innovative business solutions in Electricity (electricity generation, transmission and distribution), Pipelines & Liquids (natural gas transmission, distribution and infrastructure development; and energy storage and industrial water solutions) and Retail Energy (electricity and natural gas retail sales). More information can be found at www.canadianutilities.com
D.A. (Dennis) DeChamplain
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