TC Energy Offers 10% Stake in Coastal Gaslink Project to Indigenous Groups

(Reuters) - TC Energy Corp. said it signed an option agreement to sell 10% stake in Coastal GasLink to Indigenous communities, in an attempt to give more authority to the groups who traditionally held the land for the pipeline project.

The project has faced demonstrations and opposition from environmentalists and some First Nations for several years. Some of the groups say the project will trespass over their traditional lands.

In February, the pipeline work camp was attacked by what police described as assailants brandishing axes threatening workers and damaging equipment.

Calgary, Alberta-based pipeline operator TC Energy said the stake sale option was available to all 20 First Nations holding existing agreements with Coastal GasLink.

"For many of us, this marks the first time that our Nations have been included as owners in a major natural resource project that is crossing our territories," said Chief Corrina Leween of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation, a First Nations group, and a committee member.

Coastal GasLink, owned by private equity firm KKR & Co. Inc., Alberta Investment Management Corp. and TC Energy, is a 670-km (420-mile) pipeline to the west coast of British Columbia to supply LNG.

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