Westcoast Energy announced it has agreed to sell its Albertanatural gas distribution business, Centra Gas Alberta, based inLeduc, BC, to AltaGas Services of Calgary for $61 million. Thecompany distributes gas to 53,000 residential, rural and smallindustrial customers in 90 communities in central Alberta.

AltaGas is a privately held midstream company with gathering andprocessing facilities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and the NorthwestTerritories. AltaGas has indicated it expects to retain themanagement team and employees of Centra. “Westcoast is focusing itsnatural gas distribution strategy in markets where we have a largerpresence, such as Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia, and as aresult we made the decision to sell our gas distribution operationsin Alberta,” said Chairman Michael Phelps. Proceeds from the salewill go toward the company’s “significant capital expenditureprogram,” which includes development of the Maritimes &Northeast Pipeline Project, the Alliance Pipeline Project and amajor nitrogen production and delivery complex in Mexico.

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