Alberta Pension Fund AIMCo Flags Interest in Buying Trans Mountain Stake

(Reuters) — Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), a major pension fund in Canada's main oil and gas-producing province, would be interested in buying a stake in Canada's Trans Mountain pipeline if it became available, a spokesperson said on Thursday.

The Canadian government-owned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is close to completion after years of delay and expected to starting operating in April.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government plans to sell the pipeline once the expansion is finished.

However, analysts say massive cost over-runs that pushed the cost of the project to C$30.9 billion ($22.92 billion) and an ongoing dispute with shippers over tolls could make it difficult for Ottawa to recoup its investment.

AIMCo, led by CEO Evan Siddall, is one of Canada's largest institutional investors and also holds a stake in TC Energy's Coastal GasLink pipeline that will supply the Shell-led LNG Canada project.

"Mr. Siddall has indicated that the Trans Mountain pipeline is an example of the type of Canadian infrastructure asset that AIMCo, along with other investment managers, would consider if it were made available," AIMCo spokesperson Carolyn Quick said in an email.

The Trans Mountain expansion will nearly triple the flow of oil from Alberta to Canada's Pacific Coast to 890,000 barrels per day and open up access to new markets in Asia and the U.S. west coast for Canadian producers.

($1 = 1.3480 Canadian dollars)

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