Kinder Morgan has entered into talks with Canadian pension funds and private equity firms to secure financing for the US $5 billion expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, sources close to the matter told CBC.
The Great White North’s three largest pension institutions—the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and the Ontario Teachers’ Tension Plan Board—have all had discussions with the pipeline company in recent weeks regarding a potential investment, the sources said, adding that the outcome of the meetings was unclear.
Environmental groups and First Nation tribes have demonstrated their opposition to the construction of any new pipelines in oil and gas-rich Canada in order to encourage the adoption of renewable energy resources and prevent the potential desecration of aboriginal lands and economies.
The Canadian government approved Trans Canada’s construction in November, and the provincial government of British Columbia gave its go ahead this January – giving the project a completion date sometime in 2019.
“We’re confident in the interest from the investment community and we’re continuing to move forward with all aspects of planning in order to begin construction in September 2017,” Ali Hounsell, spokeswoman for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project, told CBC.
Kinder Morgan plans to secure the funds needed to begin the expansion in one of two ways: by conducting an initial public offering or setting up a joint venture with a willing partner. The pipeline company has owned Trans Mountain since it bought the company Terasen in 2005. It was originally built in 1953, bringing Alberta’s crude to British Columbia and Washington State.
The project will see the original pipeline expanded by a new, equally long “twin”, which will raise its capacity to 890,000 bpd, from the current 300,000 bpd.