TC Energy to sell Prince Rupert pipeline project to Ksi Lisims LNG partners

(Reuters) - TC Energy has agreed to sell its Prince Rupert natural gas pipeline project to two partners in Ksi Lisims LNG, a proposed Canadian export terminal, the North American pipeline operator said on Thursday.

The pipeline project, which TC will sell to Ksi Lisims co-developers Nisga'a Nation and Houston-based Western LNG, is permitted to move up to 3.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day across northern British Columbia (B.C.) to the Pacific Coast near Prince Rupert, supplying Ksi Lisims' proposed floating production and storage facilities.

The pipeline would run about 750-760 kilometers (466-472 miles) onshore and 30-50 km offshore.

Terms were not released. TC said the initial proceeds are not material to the company, but the deal comes with potential payments contingent on Ksi Lisims' final investment decision on the pipeline and commercial operation.

TC is selling assets, most recently the Portland Natural Gas Transmission System, to reduce debt.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Ksi Lisims' third co-developer, the Rockies LNG consortium of gas producers, is not involved in the pipeline purchase.

Coastal B.C. is close to Canada's vast Montney shale field and has a relatively short shipping distance to Asian markets.

The pipeline project is fully permitted and ready to build, said Davis Thames, Western's CEO.

Ksi Lisims aims to be Canada's second-largest liquefied natural gas export terminal after Shell-led SHEL.L LNG Canada, which is scheduled to start commercial operations in mid-2025. Ksi Lisims would ship 12 million metric tons annually.

Ksi Lisims requires environmental approval from the B.C. and Canadian governments, with the decisions expected late this year.

The LNG terminal would run on hydro-generated electricity to become net-zero emissions by 2030 as required by the B.C. government. That plan depends on utility BC Hydro expanding transmission lines to northwest B.C.

Shell agreed in January to buy two million metric tons of LNG annually from Ksi Lisims.

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