FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA. - ATCO has secured $1.4 billion in financing for the Fort McMurray West 500-kilovolt Transmission Project, making it the largest public-private partnership (P3) financing ever completed in the country.
Alberta PowerLine, a partnership owned 80 per cent by Canadian Utilities Limited, an ATCO company, and 20 per cent by Quanta Services, Inc., closed the issuance of an aggregate of over $1.38 billion of bonds with maturities ranging from June 2032 to March 2054.
The bonds were underwritten by CIBC World Markets Inc. and RBC Dominion Securities Inc. RBC also acted as financial advisor to Alberta PowerLine, states a release.
"This project enables the continued modernization of Alberta's grid, increasing the capacity and reliability of our transmission network," said Wayne Stensby, managing director, electricity with ATCO, in the release.
After a global completion was held in 2014 to design, build, finance, own, operate and maintain the project, Alberta PowerLine was chosen. The project includes approximately 500 kilometres of transmission line and associated facilities running from Wabamun (west of Edmonton) to Fort McMurray. Construction on the project began in the summer of 2017 and will conclude when the line goes into service in 2019.
In total, 27 indigenous communities were contacted during the public engagement process and more than 3,000 face-to-face meetings were conducted. During route planning, environmental specialists were hired to ensure that wildlife, soils, vegetation, wetlands and historical resources were also considered. The final route approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission incorporated feedback received during the engagement process.