Kinder Morgan has raised $5.5 billion for Trans Mountain pipeline

Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd has raised $5.5 billion ($4.16 billion) for its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and was strongly backed by lenders, the company said on Friday, even as banks face pressure to back away from the project.

“The syndication of the credit facilities was oversubscribed,” company President Ian Anderson said in the statement. “We are gratified by the outstanding level of support for this project within the financial community.”

Energy infrastructure projects have faced fierce opposition from environmental groups and aboriginal communities whose land they touch. Opposition to Trans Mountain is set to mount after the effective rise of an unfriendly government last month in Canada’s British Columbia province that the pipeline passes.

According to the company’s statement, Kinder Morgan Canada, majority owned by Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc, has entered into agreements for $4.0 billion in revolving credit, $1 billion in contingent credit and $500 million in revolving working capital.

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Kinder Morgan Canada did not specify the source of the credit, but in filings it has said it expects the funds to come from a dozen banks that acted as underwriters for the its public offering last month.

Toronto-Dominion Bank and Royal Bank of Canada were the main underwriters, according to Kinder Morgan‘s prospectus.

A group of more than 20 indigenous and environmental organizations this month called on 28 major banks, including all of the underwriters, to back away from funding Trans Mountain.

Ratings agency DBRS Ltd on Friday rated Kinder Morgan Cochin ULC, the Canadian parent company’s operating subsidiary, at ‘BBB’.

While pipelines are generally of low to moderate risk, the Trans Mountain expansion has “execution risks” including political and environmental opposition, the agency said. “In its rating assessment, DBRS has conservatively assumed a project delay of one year.”

The Trans Mountain expansion almost triples the capacity of the existing pipeline, which is designed to carry crude from Canada’s oil sands to the West Coast.

Canada’s oil producers, who lack export routes, say it helps them to attain better prices.

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The expansion has obtained both federal and regulatory approvals and has passed an environmental assessment under British Columbia’s incumbent Liberal Party, but that party lost its legislative majority in a May 9 election.

The opposition Greens and New Democrats parties, both of which oppose Trans Mountain, have sealed a deal to unseat the Liberals.

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