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AltaLink sale shouldn’t impact customers: ministers

Albertans will be protected from negative impacts that result from the pending sale of AltaLink to an American company, say a pair of provincial government ministers.

International and Intergovernmental Relations Minister Cal Dallas and Energy Minister Diana McQueen issued a joint statement on Friday, following the announcement by Industry Canada that it is approving the proposed $3.2-billion sale of the Alberta electricity transmission company to Berkshire Hathaway Energy by SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

“The proposed sale is still under review by the independent Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to ensure there is no negative impact on rates, reliability and overall service,” said the written statement.

“It is important to note that any company choosing to invest in Alberta’s transmission sector must respect and follow Alberta’s laws and regulations. The AUC regulates our electricity system to ensure that Albertans are protected.”

AltaLink, which is headquartered in Calgary, is Alberta’s largest power transmission company.

Its current projects include development of a 350-km transmission line connecting the Genesee area west of Edmonton to the Langdon area east of Calgary.

In a release issued by the Canadian government, federal Industry Minister James Moore said Berkshire Hathaway Energy agreed that there would be no job losses at AltaLink, it would continue to be locally managed with headquarters in Alberta, its board of directors would be composed of a majority of Canadians, and all of its earnings would be reinvested in AltaLink for at least five years.

He added that at least $27 million would be invested in joint development opportunities in Canada and the United States, with Canadian partners, over the next five years, and that Berkshire Hathaway Energy would invest at least $3 million over three years to support academic programs across Alberta.

AltaLink’s commitment to provide $3 million in community and charitable contributions across Alberta over three years would also be maintained.

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