Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) is thrilled to announce a landmark deal between 23 Indigenous Nations and Enbridge in the purchase of an 11.57 percent working interest in seven major pipelines within the Athabasca oil sands system in northern Alberta.
This historic transaction is approximately $1.12 billion and is expected to close within the next month, making this the largest Indigenous energy partnership in North America to date.
AIOC, a provincial Crown corporation bridging the gap between Indigenous communities seeking commercial partnerships, was able to back an equity loan of $250 million in addition to the non-recourse financing secured by Athabasca Indigenous Investments (Aii), the corporate entity representing the 23 Indigenous and Métis communities involved in the deal, negating the need for the Indigenous and Métis communities to contribute any of their own capital.
“Today’s announcement is historic for all parties involved, as today’s newly announced partnership marks the largest energy-related Indigenous economic partnership transaction in North America,” said Chana Martineau, CEO of AIOC. “I could not be prouder of AIOC’s role in this precedent-setting deal. When we talk about major capital project opportunities for Indigenous communities and groups through AIOC, this deal highlights everything AIOC represents – significant, multi-generational projects that will drive Indigenous economic prosperity for years and years to come.”
The seven pipelines – Athabasca pipeline; Wood Buffalo/Athabasca Twin and associate tanks; Norlite Diluent; Waupisoo; Wood Buffalo; Woodland and the Woodland extension – are core Enbridge assets that provide more egress out of the oilsands than any competing system and feed integral market hubs in Edmonton, Alberta and Hardisty, Alberta on the Enbridge Mainline.
For the 23 Treaty 6 and Treaty 8 First Nations and Métis communities forming Aii, these assets will provide a steady, long-term revenue stream, affording these communities opportunities for reinvestment and capabilities to pursue additional profit-generating ventures.
These 23 communities are Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation; Beaver Lake Cree Nation; Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement; Chard Métis Nation; Chipewyan Prairie First Nation; Cold Lake First Nations; Conklin Métis Local 193; Elizabeth Métis Settlement; Fishing Lake Métis Settlement; Fort Chipewyan Métis Local 125; Fort McKay First Nation; Fort McKay Métis Nation; Fort McMurray 468 First Nation; Frog Lake First Nation; Heart Lake First Nation; Kehewin Cree Nation; Kikino Métis Settlement; Mikisew Cree First Nation; McMurray Métis Local 1935; Onion Lake Cree Nation; Saddle Lake Cree Nation; Whitefish Lake First Nation (Goodfish); and Willow Lake Métis Nation.
“Today is another example of reconcili-action,” said Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta. “Since we were elected, Alberta’s government has been working relentlessly to ensure that Indigenous communities are partners in prosperity. Indigenous ownership in resource projects is just one important way to get this done. The impressive success of AIOC and the more than $400 million they have backstopped has demonstrated that this can the reality across Alberta and across Canada. Thank you to our partners at Enbridge and AIOC for helping all of us walk the path of reconciliation together.”
“On behalf of the Indigenous partners, we are proud to become equity owners in these high-quality assets which contribute to North American energy supply and security,” said Justin Bourque, President of Athabasca Indigenous Investments. “Our partner logo theme – Seven Pipelines, Seven Generations – speaks to the long-term value potential of these assets, which will help enhance the quality of life in our communities for many years to come.”
“We are very pleased to be joining our Indigenous partners in this landmark collaboration,” said Al Monaco, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enbridge. “We believe this partnership exemplifies how Enbridge and Indigenous communities can work together, not only in stewarding the environment but also in owning and operating critical energy infrastructure. We are looking forward to working with the Aii and deepening our relationship well into the future. This also fully aligns with our priority to recycle capital at attractive valuations, which can be used to fund numerous growth opportunities within our conventional and low carbon platforms.”
As the majority stakeholder and operator of the pipelines, Enbridge will continue to work collaboratively with Aii to develop a post-transaction engagement plan to enable effective two-way communication at the management level throughout the life of the partnership.
AIOC looks forward to continuing to work with Aii and Enbridge through the lifetime of this partnership and seeing the impacts each community is able to enjoy as a direct result of their participation in this transaction.
AIOC is a provincial Crown Corporation, established under legislation in November 2019, which exists to serve as a catalyst for Indigenous prosperity and independence through investment and involvement in Alberta’s natural resources, agriculture, transportation, and telecommunications sectors.
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