SOURCE: Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P.

Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P.

March 03, 2014 19:45 ET

Enbridge to Undertake $7 Billion Mainline Replacement Program

CALGARY, AB and HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - Mar 3, 2014) - Enbridge Inc. (TSX: ENB) (NYSE: ENB) and Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: EEP) today announced they have received shipper support for a $7 billion investment in their Canadian and U.S. mainline system running from Edmonton, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. The Line 3 Replacement (L3R) Program will complement the existing Line 3 segment replacement program and include all remaining segments of Line 3 between Hardisty, Alberta and Superior.

The L3R Program is targeted to be completed by the second half of 2017. Mainline shippers have agreed to support surcharges on all barrels moving on the mainline to provide an appropriate return on the additional capital required. It will be subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Under the L3R Program, all segments of the line between Hardisty and Superior will be replaced with new pipe using the latest available high-strength steel and coating technology. Long-term integrity costs to maintain the line will be substantially reduced and the reliability of service will be enhanced.

"The Line 3 Replacement Program is an important project for our customers and for Enbridge and aligns very well with our strategic priorities," said Al Monaco, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enbridge Inc. "We work closely with our customers to understand their needs now and into the future; the L3R Program will provide high reliability and flexibility to accommodate the level of throughput we expect they will require. The increased reliability of throughput on our system will provide our customers with assured service to key markets."

Added Mr. Monaco, "The L3R Program will be the largest project in our Company's history and will serve to significantly extend our industry-leading earnings per share growth rate well beyond 2017. We now stand at $36 billion of enterprise-wide commercially secured investments which will all be generating additional earnings and cash flow by 2017."

Initial development work is underway to support the regulatory applications that will be submitted in late 2014. This includes an extensive public consultation process with landowners, Aboriginal and Native American communities, municipalities and counties and other stakeholders along the Line 3 right of way. Further information on the project will be shared with the public in the near future through mailouts and public meetings.

The Canadian L3R Program, between Hardisty and Gretna, Manitoba, currently is estimated to cost approximately $4.2 billion and will be undertaken by Enbridge's wholly-owned subsidiary, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. The U.S. L3R Program, between Neche, North Dakota and Superior, is estimated to cost approximately US$2.6 billion. The U.S. Program will be undertaken by Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. (EEP) with funding provided jointly by Enbridge and EEP at participation levels to be finalized and approved by the EEP Special Committee. The Program will result in the elimination of $1.1 billion of Line 3 integrity capital which would otherwise be required by 2017, as well as elimination of additional post-2017 integrity capital.

The surcharge on barrels moving on the U.S. mainline will be set to recover a return on and of the incremental U.S. L3R capital. The surcharge will be based on EEP's existing Facilities Surcharge Mechanism cost of service methodology. A separate surcharge will apply to all barrels moving on the Canadian mainline at the Canadian local toll, and another surcharge will apply to the international joint toll (IJT) applicable to all barrels that travel on both the Canadian and U.S. mainlines. The IJT surcharge will be set at a level that will cover the U.S. surcharge plus enough, together with the Canadian local toll surcharge, to provide an appropriate return on the incremental Canadian L3R Program capital.

The capital costs on which the surcharges will be based will reflect detailed estimates to be finalized in the first quarter of 2014. Shippers will have the option to cancel the L3R Program in the event that the detailed cost estimate exceeds the current preliminary estimate by more than 15 per cent. In the event of such cancellation, all development costs incurred to that date would be recoverable from shippers.

Guy Jarvis, President, Liquids Pipelines for Enbridge said the L3R Program provides a very attractive solution to Enbridge and our shippers. "In the long run it is the most efficient way to maintain the line," Mr. Jarvis said. "It also improves the reliability of the system, with less down time for inspections and repairs and more operating flexibility. The IJT surcharge structure for the Program is designed to provide Enbridge with a solid return on its incremental investment."

Mark Maki, President, Enbridge Energy Partners said, "The U.S. Line 3 Replacement Program will provide a significant attractive investment opportunity for EEP, enhancing our distributable cash flow growth rate. The funds anticipated to be released through projected drop downs of additional interests in our natural gas gathering and processing business to Midcoast Energy Partners, will expand the Partnership's ability to undertake a significant participation level in this program."

Line 3 is a 1,031 mile (1,660 kilometres), 34-inch diameter pipeline that has been in safe and reliable operation since 1968. It is one of six crude oil pipelines that make up the Enbridge mainline system. 

CONFERENCE CALL

Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. will discuss the Line 3 Replacement Program in a live Internet presentation, commencing at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Interested parties may watch the live webcast at the link provided below. A replay will be available shortly afterward. Presentation slides will also be available on EEP's website at the link below.

EEP Events and Presentations:
www.enbridgepartners.com/Investor-Relations/EEP/Events-and-Presentations/

Webcast link:
http://www.media-server.com/m/acs/6ce061c8afec1675cf76bc3197118957

The audio portion of the live presentation will be accessible by telephone at (866) 510-0707 (Passcode: 81604353) and can be replayed until April 8, 2014 by calling (888) 286-8010 (Passcode: 70354399). An audio replay will also be available for download in MP3 format from either of the website addresses above. A transcript will be posted to EEP's website within 24 hours of the conclusion of the event.

About Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge Inc., a Canadian Company, is a North American leader in delivering energy and has been included on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World ranking for the past six years. As a transporter of energy, Enbridge operates, in Canada and the U.S., the world's longest crude oil and liquids transportation system. The Company also has a significant and growing involvement in natural gas gathering, transmission and midstream businesses, and an increasing involvement in power transmission. As a distributor of energy, Enbridge owns and operates Canada's largest natural gas distribution company, and provides distribution services in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York State. As a generator of energy, Enbridge has interests in 1,800 megawatts of renewable and alternative energy generating capacity and is expanding its interests in wind and solar energy and geothermal. Enbridge employs more than 10,000 people, primarily in Canada and the U.S. and is ranked as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013. Enbridge's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ENB. For more information, visit www.enbridge.com. None of the information contained in, or connected to, Enbridge's website is incorporated in or otherwise part of this news release.

About Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P.

Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. owns and operates a diversified portfolio of crude oil transportation systems in the United States. Its principal crude oil system is the largest pipeline transporter of growing oil production from western Canada and the North Dakota Bakken formation. The system's deliveries to refining centers and connected carriers in the United States account for approximately 17 per cent of total U.S. oil imports. Enbridge Partners is recognized by Forbes as one of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release includes forward-looking statements and projections, which are statements that do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements frequently use the following words, variations thereon or comparable terminology: "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "position," "projection," "should," "strategy," "target", "will" and similar words. Although EEP believes that such forward-looking statements are reasonable based on currently available information, such statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions and are not guarantees of performance. Future actions, conditions or events and future results of operations may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. Many of the factors that will determine these results are beyond the EEP's ability to control or predict. Specific factors that could cause actual results to differ from those in the forward-looking statements include: (1) changes in the demand for or the supply of, forecast data for, and price trends related to crude oil, liquid petroleum, natural gas and NGLs, including the rate of development of the Alberta Oil Sands; (2) EEP's ability to successfully complete and finance expansion projects; (3) the effects of competition, in particular, by other pipeline systems; (4) shut-downs or cutbacks at EEP's facilities or refineries, petrochemical plants, utilities or other businesses for which EEP transports products or to whom EEP sells products; (5) hazards and operating risks that may not be covered fully by insurance, including those related to Line 6B and any additional fines and penalties assessed in connection with the crude oil release on that line; (6) changes in or challenges to EEP's tariff rates; and (7) changes in laws or regulations to which EEP is subject, including compliance with environmental and operational safety regulations that may increase costs of system integrity testing and maintenance.

Forward-looking statements regarding "drop-down" growth opportunities are further qualified by the fact that Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. is under no obligation to offer to sell Midcoast Energy Partners, L.P. (Midcoast Partners) additional interests in Midcoast Operating, L.P. and Midcoast Partners is under no obligation to buy any such additional interests. As a result, we do not know when or if any such additional interests will be offered to Midcoast Partners to purchase.

EEP's forward looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties pertaining to operating performance, regulatory parameters, project approval and support, weather, economic conditions, interest rates and commodity prices, including by not limited to those discussed more extensively in our filings with the U.S. securities regulators. The impact of any one risk, uncertainty or factor on any particular forward looking statement is not determinable with certainty as these are independent and our future course of action depends on management's assessment of all information available at the relevant time. Except to the extent required by law, we assume no obligation to publically update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Reference should also be made to EEP's and EEQ's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recently completed fiscal year and its subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, for additional factors that may affect results. These filings are available to the public over the Internet at the SEC's web site (www.sec.gov) and at Enbridge Partners' web site.

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