CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - July 9, 2012) -
AltaGas Ltd. ("AltaGas") (TSX:ALA) (TSX:ALA.PR.A) (TSX:ALA.PR.U) (TSX:ALA.R) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Pacific Northern Gas Ltd. ("PNG"), and LNG Partners, LLC ("LNGP") have amended their agreement for 80 MMcf per day of firm gas transportation service on PNG's Western B.C. system. The amendments include a six month extension to LNGP's exclusive option on the 80 MMcf per day of firm capacity available on PNG's western transmission system and the lengthening of the term of the Transportation Service Agreement to 30 years. The start date for the service is to be on or before March 31, 2015 if the option is exercised.
"We are pleased to provide the opportunity for LNGP to transport its natural gas to its liquefied natural gas export facilities in the Kitimat area", said David Cornhill, Chairman and CEO of AltaGas. "AltaGas continues to use its strategically located assets to contribute to the development of northwest B.C. and benefit our utility customers while enhancing shareholder value".
LNGP paid PNG an additional $1.0 million non-refundable fee to extend the option which must be exercised on or before December 31, 2012. This payment is the sixth extension of the option with PNG collecting $7.5 million since first entering into the agreement in 2009. These fees have been credited to PNG's customers resulting in lower rates. Further customer benefits will be realized if LNGP exercises its option as the PNG pipeline system becomes fully utilized and generates up to $15 million per year of revenues under the agreement.
PNG and LNGP also executed an agreement under which LNGP will fund the cost of a feasibility study for expansion of PNG's western transmission system to provide an additional 170 to 195 MMcf per day of firm capacity for LNGP. BC LNG Export Co-Operative LLC, an affiliate of LNGP, has a licence from the National Energy Board which allows export of 250 MMcf per day of liquefied natural gas and LNGP plans to expand the capacity of its proposed LNG facility. PNG is in the planning stages of the feasibility study and will be consulting with First Nations, nearby communities and other stakeholders during the study.
Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Pacific Northern Gas Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AltaGas Ltd. PNG owns and operates natural gas transmission and distribution systems including a transmission line that extends from a gas transmission system north of Prince George to tidewater at Kitimat and Prince Rupert, and provides service to 12 communities and a number of industrial facilities. In the northeast, PNG's subsidiary Pacific Northern Gas (N.E.) Ltd. provides gas distribution service in the Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Tumbler Ridge areas.
AltaGas is an energy infrastructure business 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 renewable energy sources. For more information visit: www.altagas.ca and www.png.ca.
This news release contains forward-looking statements. When used in this news release, the words "may", "would", "could", "will", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "seek", "propose", "estimate", "expect", and similar expressions, as they relate to AltaGas or an affiliate of AltaGas, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In particular, this news release contains forward-looking statements with respect to, among other things, business objectives, expected growth, results of operations, performance, business projects and opportunities and financial results. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect AltaGas' current views with respect to future events based on certain material factors and assumptions and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, changes in market, competition, governmental or regulatory developments, general economic conditions and other factors set out in AltaGas' public disclosure documents. Many factors could cause AltaGas' actual results, performance or achievements to vary from those described in this news release, including without limitation those listed above. These factors should not be construed as exhaustive. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in this news release as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, sought, proposed, estimated or expected, and such forward-looking statements included in, or incorporated by reference in this news release, should not be unduly relied upon. Such statements speak only as of the date of this news release. AltaGas does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.