HOUSTON, TEXAS–(Marketwired – Nov. 29, 2017) – Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE:EEP) (EEP or the Partnership) announced today its financial guidance for 2018 as well as its long term business and financial outlook. This guidance reflects the first full year since the Partnership was restructured in 2017 to position EEP as a pure-play, liquids pipeline MLP with a low-risk commercial profile, stable cash flows, a strong balance sheet, healthy distribution coverage, visible growth and limited external capital needs.
EEP’s business outlook for the 2018 – 2020 planning period remains strong. The Lakehead system is expected to continue to deliver stable, low-risk regulated cash flow, and the volume outlook on the North Dakota assets is expected to remain robust. Cash flow growth throughout the period will be underpinned by various sources, including rising contracted volumes on the Bakken Pipeline System and higher toll surcharges on its existing 25% interest in the Mainline Expansion Project when it fully enters service. In addition, EEP holds purchase options under existing joint funding arrangements to acquire additional interests in three projects at net book value aggregating to $1.6 billion, namely: 20% of the Bakken Pipeline System investment, 15% of the Mainline Expansion Project and 39% of the Line 3 Replacement Program.
Distributable Cash Flow Guidance for 2018
The Partnership expects 2018 Distributable Cash Flow (DCF) to be in a range of $775 – $825 million after taking into account DCF attributable to Non-Controlling Interests. DCF also assumes core maintenance capital expenditures of approximately $40 million.
EEP expects annual total distribution coverage in 2018 of approximately 1.2x. EEP will target distribution coverage ratios similar to these levels through the 2020 planning horizon. The Partnership also expects to grow its distributable cash flow per unit by approximately 3% per year on average through this period.
Target Credit Metrics
EEP expects to maintain a solid investment grade credit profile with strengthening credit metrics over the planning horizon. The Partnership expects consolidated Debt to EBITDA to be approximately 4.0x by 2020, predicated upon its liquids pipeline growth projects being placed into service and the joint funding arrangement call options being exercised.
The Partnership’s outlook will be discussed in further detail at the upcoming Enbridge Inc. (NYSE:ENB) investor conferences in New York and Toronto on December 12th and 13th, respectively.