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AltaGas' Growth Strategy in High Gear

AltaGas' Growth Strategy in High Gear

AltaGas Services bought three Canadian processing facilities and associated gathering lines worth $17.4 million on Friday, continuing the Calgary-based midstream company's trek toward the $200 million growth-spending goal set at the beginning of 1999. With this purchase, AltaGas has spent and committed a total of $115 million in its acquisitions and expansion program so far this year.

The northwestern and central Alberta facilities were purchased from two Canadian producers who wished to remain anonymous. The plants have a total processing capacity of 50 MMcf/d. Their addition increases AltaGas' overall processing capacity by 10%. They currently process 28 MMcf/d of sweet gas and 600 b/d of natural gas liquids.

On the financial side of the company's growth strategy, AltaGas recently gained conditional listing approval from the Alberta Stock Exchange. Trading is expected to commence on the exchange prior to July 31. AltaGas will also seek a listing from a senior exchange in the near term.

"A stock exchange listing is the next logical stage in AltaGas' development. AltaGas is based in Calgary so we consider The Alberta Stock Exchange to be a natural initial trading forum for our common shares," said David Cornhill, CEO of AltaGas. "We have targeted to spend $200 million for the expansion and acquisition of midstream assets during 1999 and expect capital investment to continue to be significant in future years as we grow the business. Access to public markets will broaden our investor base and expand our financing sources. It also satisfies an objective to provide liquidity to our existing shareholders."

Established in April 1994, AltaGas has acquired or constructed over $370 million in natural gas assets. These assets include 57 processing facilities capable of processing over 585 MMcf/d of natural gas, approximately 2,500 miles of gathering lines in Alberta and Saskatchewan, 199 MMcf/d of ethane and natural gas liquids extraction plant processing capacity and ownership of AltaGas Utilities Inc.

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