AltaLink, L.P.

AltaLink, L.P.

February 26, 2007 07:00 ET

AltaLink Responds to Alberta's Thirst for Power in 2006

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 26, 2007) -

NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES

AltaLink responded to new residents, businesses and industries that continued to drive Alberta's economic and population growth to new heights in 2006 by investing over $245.0 million in the critical transmission system that supplies 85 per cent of Albertans with the electricity they need.

"It was another banner year for growth in Alberta in 2006, and the corresponding demand for electricity requires investment in the province's transmission infrastructure," said Scott Thon, AltaLink's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Albertans expect reliable and cost-effective power and a transmission system that provides it to their homes, schools, farms and businesses. Our investments in new facilities and upgrades meet this need."

In 2006, AltaLink delivered a wide variety of new facilities to further light up Alberta and support local and regional economic development. Some examples include:

- A new supply substation in Leduc to support local residential and industrial growth;

- Connecting the Soderglen Wind Project to Alberta's grid, providing a new source of renewable electricity to Alberta consumers; and

- Completing a new substation and an accompanying transmission line near Christina Lake, allowing for the continued development of Alberta's oil sands resources.

Demand continues to grow and the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has stated that the backbone transmission system between Edmonton and Calgary must be upgraded by late 2009 or southern Alberta faces the risk of electricity outages. AltaLink applied to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) for a permit to construct this line in September of last year. The EUB has scheduled a hearing on the project for March 12 in Red Deer.

"2007 is a pivotal year for the province's power grid," added Mr.Thon. "We must begin construction of the Edmonton to Calgary 500 kV line if we are to meet the AESO's timelines and ensure we keep the lights on across southern Alberta."

AltaLink continues to look for new ways to meet Alberta's need for transmission infrastructure while balancing the impact that transmission infrastructure has on the environment and on landowners with facilities on their property.

"We are at a critical point in electricity supply in Alberta. Our economic success has driven an incredible thirst for electricity, and for the transmission facilities that move electricity from the low-cost generators to consumers," said Mr. Thon. "The need for new generation and transmission infrastructure is undeniable, but as Alberta continues to grow, we must also find ways to move more of the electricity on the existing transmission corridors. New technologies, energy efficiency and optimizing existing lines and the lands they occupy, are all strategies we must explore to minimize the impacts of meeting the growing electrical needs of Albertans."

AltaLink, L.P., also announced today its financial results for the 2006 fiscal year.

AltaLink, Alberta's largest electricity transmission provider, recorded net income for the 12 months ended December 31, 2006 of $35.6 million compared to $37.3 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2005. Revenues for the 12 months ended December 31, 2006 were $201.4 million, compared to $197.3 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2005.

The $4.1 million increase in revenues in 2006 compared to 2005 is partially the result of higher tariff rates approved by the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, as well as an increase in miscellaneous revenue for services provided to FortisAlberta and TransAlta. The revenue increase was partially offset by a reduction in tariff revenue to reflect lower interest expenses on long-term debt.

Net income for the year ended December 31, 2006 is $1.7 million lower than 2005 partially the result of AltaLink's regulated return on equity established by the Alberta Energy & Utilities Board reduced from 9.5% in 2005 to 8.93% in 2006. The 2005 results also contain the impact of one-time adjustments related to 2004, estimated to be $2.4 million, that were reflected in EUB Decision 2005-019, which was issued in the first quarter of 2005.

The net income reported above is pre-tax, and is not directly comparable with net income reported by companies that recognize tax expense in their financial statements.

AltaLink's full financial results and management's discussion and analysis can be found on AltaLink's website at www.altalink.ca or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

AltaLink, Canada's only fully independent transmission provider, is responsible for the maintenance and operation of more than 11,600 kilometres of transmission lines and approximately 260 substations in Alberta. As Alberta's largest supplier of safe and reliable transmission, AltaLink is moving forward to provide a transmission system that will continue to meet the growing needs of Albertans.

This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy AltaLink's securities in any jurisdiction, including but not limited to, the United States. AltaLink's securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "U.S. Securities Act"), or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States except in certain transactions exempt from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.

Except for the historical and present factual information contained herein, the matters set forth in this news release, including words such as "expects", "projects", "plans", "anticipates" and similar expressions, are forward-looking information that represents management of AltaLink's internal projections, expectations or beliefs concerning, among other things, future operating results and various components thereof or the economic performance of AltaLink. The projections, estimates and beliefs contained in such forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause AltaLink's actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, those described in AltaLink's filings with the Canadian securities authorities. Accordingly, holders of AltaLink securities and potential investors are cautioned that events or circumstances could cause results to differ materially from those predicted. AltaLink disclaims any responsibility to update these forward-looking statements.

Contact Information

  • AltaLink Management Ltd., Investor Relations
    Chris Lomore
    Vice President, Treasurer
    (403) 267-3446
    Email: Chris.Lomore@AltaLink.ca
    or
    AltaLink Management Ltd., Media Relations
    Scott Schreiner
    Manager, Communications
    (403) 267-2176
    Email: Scott.Schreiner@AltaLink.ca