ATCO says it has secured almost $1.4 billion in financing for what it says is the largest public-private partnership financing ever completed in Canada.
The proceeds from the $1,384,678,000 of bonds with maturities ranging from June 2032 to March 2054 will be used by Alberta PowerLine to finance the Fort McMurray West 500-kilovolt (kV) Transmission Project, the company says in a statement.
“We are very proud that we have developed a project which supports the continued growth of our province and allows us to build upon and create meaningful relationships with communities,” said Wayne Stensby, managing director, electricity with ATCO. “This project enables the continued modernization of Alberta’s grid, increasing the capacity and reliability of our transmission network.”
Alberta PowerLine was selected by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) in late
2014 through a competitive global process to design, build, finance, own, operate and maintain the project, including approximately 500 kms of transmission line and associated facilities running from Wabamun (west of Edmonton) to Fort McMurray.
Construction began in the summer of 2017, and will conclude when the line goes into service in 2019.
The public engagement process for the project was extensive. In total, 27 Indigenous communities were engaged and more than 3,000 face-to-face meetings were conducted.
During route planning, environmental specialists were consulted 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.