Kinder Morgan has held talks with three of Canada's biggest pension funds, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, according to Reuters
, but it is unclear if the talks are continuing.
Houston, Texas-based Kinder Morgan
is the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. The company's goals for 2017 include either a joint venture or public offering of Trans Mountain, and they are stepping up their efforts to find financing for the project, despite the significant opposition and a growing stack of lawsuits.
Lawsuits dog the Trans Mountain project
is reporting that despite support from the provincial and federal governments, opponents of the Trans Mountain project continue to build in numbers even while continuing their fight.
Last week, Vancouver city councilor Adriane Carr entered a motion
requesting a judicial review of the Province of British Columbia’s decision to give environmental approval to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project in BC.
"If there is real and genuine consultation with First Nations and real and genuine consultation with the public…I believe the outcome will be a no," said Carr, in a press conference
outside Vancouver's city hall. "No environmental permit, no building of Kinder Morgan's pipeline and thus a better future for all of us."
On January 31, Democracy Watch and the PIPE UP Network challenged the province's approval of the pipeline through the B.C. Supreme Court, alleging a conflict of interest existed because Kinder Morgan and pipeline-connected companies donated more than $750,000 to the B.C. Liberal Party, Premier Christie Clark's party. This legal challenge is just one of many facing Kinder Morgan.
Financing the Trans Mountain Pipeline
Yet despite its legal woes, Kinder Morgan says it will begin construction of the project in 2017 with completion expected in 2019. The company has hired Toronto-Dominion Bank to help in arranging the financing and will be using a "dual-track" process. This is because Kinder Morgan will be looking at selling a 50 percent stake in the project, creating a joint venture, according to CBC Canada
"We're confident in the interest from the investment community and we're continuing to move forward with all aspects of planning in order to begin construction in September 2017," said Ali Hounsell, spokeswoman for Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
Reuters is reporting that Kinder Morgan is also wanting to tap "sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East," something to keep a close eye on. And should Kinder Morgan pursue a shares sale, it would make the company the biggest IPO (initial public offering) in Canadian history. An IPO could easily raise between 20 and 40 percent of the funding needed for the project, or between C$1.4 billion and C$2.7 billion.
Kinder Morgan has owned the pipeline since 2005, after buying it from Teresen Inc. With the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, this will make it one of the biggest in North America. Now it looks like the ball is back in the opposition's side of the court as Kinder Morgan gears up to begin construction of its pipeline expansion.