TransCanada License for Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Approved by Alaska Legislature
CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 1, 2008) - TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) today received the support of the Alaska Legislature to award the company a license for the Alaska Pipeline Project under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA).
"The Legislature's decision represents a significant milestone in advancing this major natural gas pipeline project to connect stranded U.S. natural gas reserves to Alaskan and Lower 48 consumers. We are pleased to receive this vote of confidence from the representatives of the people of Alaska," stated Hal Kvisle, TransCanada's president and chief executive officer. "This ratification of our license under AGIA will facilitate TransCanada's continuing commercial negotiations with potential shippers, improving the likelihood of a successful open season and the construction of a natural gas delivery system from Prudhoe Bay to Lower 48 markets."
Today's positive vote was the conclusion of a special session of the Legislature which reviewed the recommendation of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the Commissioners of Natural Resources and Revenue to issue TransCanada the license. Governor Palin, her Administration and a team of expert advisors conducted a comprehensive analysis of TransCanada's application prior to their recommendation to the Legislature. TransCanada's application met all the AGIA requirements, which include protecting Alaska's interests with reasonable commercial terms; the ability to provide in-state gas deliveries; Alaska labour opportunities; and procedural elements that facilitate an expedited path toward state and federal approval and a timely open season to solicit capacity on the line.
TransCanada will now move forward with project development, which will include engineering, environmental reviews, aboriginal relations and commercial work to conclude an initial binding open season by July 2010. During this period, TransCanada will continue its efforts to align with potential shippers. If sufficient firm contracts are secured in the open season, TransCanada would begin construction after regulatory approvals are received. TransCanada is targeting to have the pipeline in service by September 2018.
TransCanada applied under AGIA to build a 4.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d), 48-inch diameter natural gas pipeline running approximately 1,715 miles (2,760 km) from a new natural gas treatment plant at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska's North Slope to Alberta. Integration of the pipeline with TransCanada's Alberta System will provide access to diverse, Lower 48 markets across the U.S. The application includes provision for expansions up to 5.9 bcf/d through the addition of compressor stations in Alaska and Canada.
The proposed pipeline would parallel the route of the existing trans-Alaska oil pipeline to a point south of Fairbanks. It would then follow the Alaska Highway, continuing through northern British Columbia to link with the Alberta Hub on TransCanada's pipeline grid in northwestern Alberta. The Alaska section would be approximately 750 miles (1,200 km) in length, with six compressor stations at start-up and at least five natural gas delivery points in Alaska. The Canadian section to Alberta would be approximately 965 miles (1,550 km), with ten compressor stations at start-up and eight intermediate delivery points in the Yukon. Maps and more detailed information about the project, including links to TransCanada's AGIA application, are available at: www.transcanada.com/company/alaska_pipeline_project.html
With more than 50 years' experience, TransCanada is a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure including natural gas pipelines, power generation, gas storage facilities, and projects related to oil pipelines and LNG facilities. TransCanada's network of wholly owned pipelines extends more than 59,000 kilometres (36,500 miles), tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America. TransCanada is one of the continent's largest providers of gas storage and related services with approximately 355 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. A growing independent power producer, TransCanada owns, controls or is developing approximately 8,400 megawatts of power generation. TransCanada's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol TRP.
Note: All financial figures are in Canadian dollars unless noted otherwise.
This News Release may contain certain information that is forward looking and is subject to important risks and uncertainties. The words "anticipate", "expect", "may", "should", "estimate", "project", "outlook", "forecast" or other similar words are used to identify such forward-looking information. All forward-looking statements reflect TransCanada's beliefs and assumptions based on information available at the time the statements were made. Actual results or events may differ from those predicted in these forward-looking statements. Factors which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, the ability of TransCanada to successfully implement its strategic initiatives and whether such strategic initiatives will yield the expected benefits, the operating performance of the Company's pipeline and energy assets, the availability and price of energy commodities, regulatory processes and decisions, changes in environmental and other laws and regulations, competitive factors in the pipeline and energy industry sectors, construction and completion of capital projects, labour, equipment and material costs, access to capital markets, interest and currency exchange rates, technological developments and the current economic conditions in North America. By its nature, such forward-looking information is subject to various risks and uncertainties, which could cause TransCanada's actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or expectations expressed. Additional information on these and other factors is available in the reports filed by TransCanada with Canadian securities regulators and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is given as of the date it is expressed in this News Release or otherwise, and to not use future-oriented information or financial outlooks for anything other than their intended purpose. TransCanada undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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