CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Dec. 20, 2017) – AltaGas Ltd. (AltaGas) (TSX:ALA) is pleased to announce that on December 1, 2017 commercial operations commenced at its North Pine NGL Separation Facility (North Pine Facility). The $120 million project was completed ahead of schedule and approximately $15 million under budget.
“The completion of our North Pine Facility is another major milestone in our northeast B.C. strategy. It will soon be followed by our Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal (RIPET), paving the way to new market alternatives for Western Canadian gas producers,” said David Harris, President and CEO of AltaGas. “Once RIPET is complete, we will be able to offer producers a broad suite of midstream services and new market diversification, including premium netbacks through the strong propane demand and pricing in Asian markets.”
The 10,000 Bbls/d North Pine Facility is connected to existing AltaGas infrastructure and is contracted through long-term supply agreements with Painted Pony Energy Ltd. (Painted Pony) for a portion of the total capacity. The remaining capacity is expected to be filled with NGL from other producers in the area. The North Pine Facility also has access to the Canadian National Railway (CN) rail network, allowing for the transportation of propane, butane and condensate to North American markets and including propane to RIPET upon its completion in the first quarter of 2019.
Construction of RIPET continues and crews are currently finishing the concrete outer wall for the propane tank with the eighth and final concrete pour having been completed in mid-December. Fabrication for the inner steel tank roof is nearing completion, and installation of the inner steel tank will begin in early 2018. The balance of plant fabrication and civil work is on track and the first modules are scheduled to arrive in the first quarter of 2018. RIPET is ahead of schedule and on-budget.
Regulatory Update – Acquisition of WGL Holdings, Inc.
On December 4, 2017, AltaGas and WGL Holdings, Inc. (WGL) announced the achievement of a significant milestone in the regulatory approval process in Maryland, with the signing of a settlement agreement with the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and the Laborers’ International Union of North America, its affiliated District Council, and Local Unions serving or located in Washington D.C. (collectively, LiUNA) on key terms for the merger of AltaGas and WGL currently before the Maryland Public Service Commission (Maryland PSC).
With the positive news and filing of the settlement, the hearing for the settlement is expected to be held from February 6-9, 2018, with a final decision from the Maryland PSC expected on or before April 4, 2018.
In Washington, D.C., the District of Columbia Public Service Commission (DCPSC) hearings concluded on December 13, 2017, and a decision is expected in the first half of 2018.
2018 Capital Program
AltaGas’ 2018 capital program (excluding WGL) is expected to be in the range of approximately $400 – $500 million. The Gas business will account for approximately 60 to 65 percent of the total capital, while AltaGas’ Utility business will account for approximately 25 to 30 percent and the Power business will account for the remainder. The majority of AltaGas’ 2018 capital program is focused on the continued construction at RIPET as well as maintaining and growing rate base at its existing utilities.
AltaGas expects maintenance capital for Gas and Power will be approximately $25 – $35 million for 2018.
Following the close of the WGL transaction, the consolidated 2018 capital program for AltaGas and WGL on a combined basis assuming a Q2 2018 closing is expected to be in the range of approximately $1.2 – $1.5 billion. Close to half of this total will be allocated to Gas, with the majority of the remaining expected capital for Utilities, followed by Power.
AltaGas expects that the largest portion of WGL’s total 2018 capital program will be allocated to investments in the Central Penn and Mountain Valley gas pipeline developments in the Marcellus region. Capital allocated to WGL’s Utilities business will represent most of the remaining total 2018 capital, with spending consistent with recent levels.
“2018 will be a transformational year for AltaGas as we work to close the WGL transaction and start to integrate their solid energy infrastructure assets with ours,” said Mr. Harris. “Together, we will have a premier footprint in both Canada and the U.S. for all three of our business segments with significant top quality growth opportunities that we look forward to capitalizing on.”
AltaGas is an energy infrastructure company with a focus on natural gas, power and regulated utilities. AltaGas creates value by acquiring, growing and optimizing its energy infrastructure, including a focus on clean energy sources. For more information visit: www.altagas.ca.