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BREAKING: Federal government agrees to buy Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5B

The Government of Canada dipped into its pockets this morning.

Bill Morneau, minister of finance, alongside Jim Carr, minister of natural resources, announced this morning that the federal government has purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline system and expansion project (TMEP) for $4.5 billion.

The purchase will allow the project to continue while the government immediately seeks new private sector investors to buy it, a process that Kinder Morgan will assist in.

“Today, Jim Carr and I announced that we have reached an agreement that will get the TMEP built, guarantee the summer construction season and protect thousands of jobs,” tweeted Morneau.

“We are able to pursue this project with confidence, because we know that we are upholding the trust Canadians have placed in us to both grow our economy and protect our environment.”

As part of the deal, the government will fund the resumption of the project’s planning and construction by guaranteeing its expenditures until the transaction closes.

The deal is expected to be finalized in late August or early September.

“We are pleased to reach agreement on a transaction that benefits the people of Canada, TMEP shippers and KML shareholders,” said Steve Kean, Kinder Morgan chairman and CEO.

“The outcome we have reached represents the best opportunity to complete the TMEP and thereby realize the great national economic benefits promised by that project.”

Kinder Morgan will continue to manage a portfolio of strategic infrastructure across Western Canada.

That includes an integrated network of crude tank storage and rail terminals in Alberta, the Vancouver Wharves Terminal and the Cochlin Pipeline.

B.C. Premier John Horgan has not spoken about the announcement yet, but Alberta Premier Rachel Notley quickly took to Twitter to have her say.

She called today’s purchase a “major step forward for all Canadians” and added that the project has more certainty than ever before.

Both premiers will talk more about the news as the day goes on, with Horgan expected to talk to media through a conference call at 10 a.m.

More on this developing story as the day goes on.

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