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FortisBC partners with Stz’uminus (Chemainus) First Nation and Cowichan Tribes in the ownership of Mt. Hayes natural gas storage facility

January 9, 2012
Self-contained facility lends itself to a unique ownership structure

On January 1, 2012 FortisBC entered into a limited partnership (Mt. Hayes Storage LP) with the Stz’uminus (Chemainus) First Nation and Cowichan Tribes who will each invest $5.7 million (7.5 per cent in the partnership equity interest) in the Mt. Hayes natural gas storage facility, located on Vancouver Island, with FortisBC owning the remainder. Mt. Hayes Storage LP will lease the facility back to FortisBC under a long term agreement.

“The Mt. Hayes facility is a unique opportunity for this partnership structure. While the facility is integrated into our system, it is in effect a self-contained site that lends itself to this ownership structure. In addition, FortisBC has a long-standing relationship with the Stz’uminus First Nation and Cowichan Tribes, who contributed positively to the development of the facility,” said Roger Dall’Antonia, vice president, strategic planning, corporate development and regulatory affairs, FortisBC.

Along with FortisBC, the Stz’uminus First Nation and Cowichan Tribes will each receive a regulated rate of return on equity, as approved by the British Columbia Utilities Commission on June 28, 2011, and also have representation on the partnership’s board of directors, which will guide the ongoing operation of the Mt. Hayes facility.

“This partnership is a continuation of the long-standing relationship Cowichan has enjoyed with FortisBC since the early 90s. The opportunity will provide economic benefits to Cowichan for the next 40 years, which will directly impact member services and other Cowichan initiatives. We are pleased and honoured to be a part of this unique partnership,” said Chief Alphonse, Cowichan Tribes. 

“Stz’uminus First Nation continues to build and value our strong relationship and partnership with FortisBC. Our investment in the liquefied natural gas facility will create economic prosperity and benefits for our community’s future,” said Chief John Elliott, Stz’uminus First Nation.

The facility has created substantial economic and employment benefits, including an investment of approximately $70 million in the region – this is due in large part to FortisBC sourcing local suppliers for goods and services.

The 20 hectare Mt. Hayes facility is located approximately six kilometres northwest of Ladysmith. The storage facility, supplied by FortisBC’s existing pipeline systems, will help meet current and future gas demands throughout FortisBC’s service territories. The storage tank holds 1.5 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas, with the structure measuring approximately 60 metres in diameter and about 50 metres high. Construction at the site began three years ago, and the facility came into service late 2011.

​Media Contact:

Kirsten Walker
Senior Corporate Communications Manager
FortisBC
Phone: 604-592-7507
Email: kirsten.walker@fortisbc.com
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FortisBC is an integrated energy solutions provider focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity, propane and alternative energy solutions, at the lowest reasonable cost. FortisBC employs more than 2,300 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in more than 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. FortisBC owns and operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,000 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines and approximately 46,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc., FortisBC Energy Inc., FortisBC Energy (Vancouver Island) Inc., and FortisBC Energy (Whistler) Inc. do business as FortisBC. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.​

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