Kinder Morgan deadline looming, other investors not coming forward

Kinder Morgan deadline looming, other investors not coming forward

File photo.

File photo.

The federal finance minister said last week “plenty of investors” were interested to step up to the plate, but none have emerged publicly should Kinder Morgan back away from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Just over a week remains until the company’s May 31 deadline for certainty on pipeline twinning construction and analysts remain confused on Bill Morneau’s assertion that other suitors would be willing to take over.

Morneau announced last week the federal government would compensate Kinder Morgan, or any other investors, from increasing costs because of politically motivated pipeline delays.

Former industry executive and current analyst  Dennis McConaghy said if the pipeline is delayed beyond 2020, it would be a “political disaster” for both Morneau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley since both have staked their reputations on expansion moving forward.

“I’ve been very skeptical about the advent of third parties. This deal has to get done with Kinder if the focus is to get the pipeline in service by 2020,” McConaghy said.

When asked today if any companies are interested in taking over should Kinder Morgan pull out, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa is in financial conversations with the company, various stakeholders and potentially interested partners.

Trudeau insisted the project is in the national interest and the focus for his government is to get it built, but there has been no indication what other investors are actually interested to take over construction or how much money the federal government has on the table as insurance for investors.

Enbridge denied it is in negotiations to take over the construction of the pipeline twinning, and TransCanada Corp. and Cenovus Energy Inc. have not commented.

The B.C. government doesn’t appear to be wavering from its opposition to pipeline expansion and is asking a provincial appeals court to determine what jurisdiction the province has to cap oil shipments in the province.

Kinder Morgan says it has already spent $1.1 billion of the estimated $7.4 billion project cost and have stopped non-essential spending.

With files from the Canadian Press.


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