TC Energy Corp. on Monday closed investment and loan deals to build the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline for the Royal Dutch Shell plc-led liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project underway on the northern coast of British Columbia (BC).
The transactions transferred 65% ownership of CGL to a partnership of KKR & Co. and Alberta Investment Management Corp., while also raising project construction financing from a bank syndicate.
The Shell-led LNG Canada project, estimated to cost C$40 billion ($30 billion), reduced its workforce by half in March as the Covid-19 pandemic began spreading across North America. At the time, the northern climate was expected to naturally reduce construction work temporarily on CGL, the terminal conduit that is to cross 670 kilometers (400 miles) of the province.
CGL is on schedule despite winter protests that escalated into railway blockades by a faction of native dissenters from project co-operation and benefits agreements with the elected chiefs and councils of all the tribes along the pipeline route.
The TC credit arrangement is expected to cover 80% of CGL’s estimated C$6.6billion ($4.9 billion) cost. The deals enable TC to recover C$2.1 billion ($1.6 billion) already spent on preparations and construction.
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Work continues on carrying out an option to buy 10% ownership of CGL that has been granted to 20 native communities along the route to Kitimat, BC on the coast from northeastern Canadian gas fields.
As construction accelerates after a pause for northern spring thaw, the project is protecting itself and its neighbors against the pandemic by fielding about 80 medics from International SOS, a global health and safety contractor.
“International SOS’ team is supporting Coastal GasLink’s workforce 24/7,” said CGL. Services include first-aid clinics, roving medical support vehicles and worker education.
During spring thaw, CGL reported preparing for action by building and renovating four construction camps for a labor force that is scheduled to grow gradually, clear rights-of-way across the northern BC bush, and start installing pipe later this year.
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