Trudeau government to buy troubled Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion


Image Credit CFJC Today

Construction will continue through the 2018 season, and the federal government will transfer it to one or more new owners when "appropriate".

Kinder Morgan Canada and the Canadian government have agreed to work to seek a third party buyer for the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and the expansion project (TMEP) through July 22, 2018, Kinder Morgan Canada said.

The company estimated the deal is worth about $12 per restricted voting share, after capital gains tax. The deal, which includes the expansion, related pipeline and terminal assets, is expected to close in August.

Kinder Morgan last month gave Ottawa an ultimatum: Chairman Steve Kean said the company would suspend all work on the expansion project entirely if the legal issues surrounding it can not be resolved by May 31, adding that it would not continue risking shareholder funds on the project unless the clouds over it clear.

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Once the sale is complete, Canada will continue the construction on its own, with a view to eventually selling the whole thing down the road, once market conditions would allow it to get the best price.

Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, said that this is an investment in Canada's future.

"To investors considering Canada as a place to build big, important, transformative projects like the Trans Mountain expansion, we want you to know that you have a partner in Ottawa", Morneau said.

"We have agreed to a fair price for our shareholders and have found a way forward for this national interest project", said Steve Kean, chief executive officer of Kinder Morgan Canada and its parent, Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI.N).

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Kean did not say why he chose to sell rather than absorb the risk of further delays to Trans Mountain.

"For Indigenous groups, we'll make sure that existing profit-sharing or other agreements established with Kinder Morgan remain in effect".

Canada approved the project in November 2016, following an expanded environmental review process that included additional consultations with Indigenous communities and assessing the amount of additional emissions likely to result from additional production.

Crews using an emergency response trailer and vacuum trucks are working to clean up a crude oil spill at a Kinder Morgan station north of Kamloops, B.C.

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