June 24th, 2024

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs urge banks to snub TC Energy bonds

By The Canadian Press on June 4, 2024.

An Indigenous group that opposed the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline is urging banks and investors not to help finance a proposed second phase of the project. The terminus for the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline is seen at the LNG Canada export terminal under construction in Kitimat, B.C., Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

CALGARY – An Indigenous group that opposed the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline is urging banks and investors against financing a proposed second phase of the project.

Hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation of B.C. have written an open letter to Canada’s biggest banks and investors urging them to make a public commitment not to buy any new bonds issued by Calgary-based TC Energy Corp., the company behind Coastal GasLink.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline, which was designed to transport natural gas from Western Canada to the Shell-led LNG Canada export facility currently nearing completion in Kitimat, B.C., was completed last fall.

TC Energy has not yet made a final investment decision on a potential Phase 2 of the project, which could see the construction of six additional compressor stations in order to double the capacity of Coastal GasLink without requiring additional pipeline.

The company confirmed Tuesday it is engaged in discussions to refinance a portion of its existing construction loan through private bond sales, though a spokesperson declined to disclose the size of the bond offering. The company said the proceeding is part of the “normal course” of post-construction project financing.

In the winter of 2020, protesters blockaded freight and passenger rail services across the country to show solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, whose traditional territory is crossed by Coastal GasLink and who opposed the project.

All 20 of the elected Indigenous groups along the 670-km pipeline route supported the Coastal GasLink project, and 17 out of 20 signed agreements with TC Energy to acquire a 10 per cent equity stake in the pipeline.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TRP)

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