Montréal, September 30, 2014 – Sophie Brochu, President and CEO of Gaz Métro, is pleased with the partnership announced jointly with Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec, Pierre Arcand, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Plan Nord, and Jean D'Amour, Minister for Transport and the Implementation of the Maritime Strategy, to increase the natural gas liquefaction capacity at the Gaz Métro plant in eastern Montréal.
In keeping with the Government's commitments made in its latest budget, this will, as of 2016, make it possible to take the first step in supplying regions remote from the natural gas network, particularly Nord-du-Québec and Côte-Nord, as well as the marine and road transportation sectors.
"This partnership constitutes an important milestone in the Plan Nord by providing an additional development tool to businesses and the regions. Liquefied natural gas will also be used as an alternate, greener fuel source for road and marine transportation, which is closely tied to the government's objectives in its Maritime Strategy and plan to fight against climate change," stated Ms. Brochu.
Through Investissement Québec, the Gouvernement du Québec will have a $50 million stake in the Gaz Métro subsidiary responsible for marketing liquefied natural gas (Gaz Métro LNG).
Estimated to cost $118million, the project will help, in part, to meet the growing demand for liquefied natural gas by tripling output capacity at Gaz Metro's plant. The work will start in May 2015 and continue until June 2016, making liquefied natural gas available to customers as of summer of 2016.
Discussions are underway with several potential customers, some of whom have already confirmed that they plan to acquire liquefied natural gas from Gaz Métro LNG. Stornoway Diamonds is one such client, and it will be the first mining company in Quebec to use liquefied natural gas. In the road transport sector, Transport Robert has played a pioneering role, with a large fleet of vehicles already running on liquefied natural gas. As for maritime transport, the Société des traversiers du Québec will use liquefied natural gas for its three new ships starting in 2015. In addition, Groupe Desgagnés recently ordered two of a series of ships. As of 2016, it will become the first marine freight transport company in Québec to obtain liquefied natural gas from Gaz Métro LNG.
"Thanks to low natural gas prices and technological advances, we can now serve new customers that are remote from the natural gas network, as well as customers in the transport sector. Access to natural gas will make our businesses more competitive while reducing their environmental footprint," stressed Ms. Brochu.
About Gaz Métro
With more than $5 billion in assets, Gaz Métro is a leading energy provider. It is the largest natural gas distribution company in Québec, where its network of over 10,000 km of underground pipelines serves 300 municipalities and more than 190,000 customers. Gaz Métro is also present in Vermont, producing electricity and distributing electricity and natural gas to meet the needs of more than 305,000 customers. Gaz Métro is actively involved in the development of innovative, promising energy projects such as the production of wind power, the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel and the development of biomethane. Gaz Métro is a major energy sector player that takes the lead in responding to the needs of its customers, regions and municipalities, local organizations, and communities while also satisfying the expectations of its Partners (GMi and Valener) and employees.
Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements
Certain statements contained in this press release may be forward-looking pursuant to applicable securities laws. Such forward-looking statements reflect the intentions, plans, expectations and opinions of the management (the “Management”) of Gaz Métro inc. acting in its capacity as General Partner of Gaz Métro and are based on information currently available to Management and assumptions about future events. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors outside Gaz Métro's control. A number of factors could cause actual results of Gaz Métro to differ materially from the current expectations as expressed in the forward-looking statements.
Although these forward-looking statements are based upon what Management believes to be reasonable assumptions, Gaz Métro cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and Gaz Métro assume no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required pursuant to applicable securities laws. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The complete version of the cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements as well as a description of the relevant assumptions and risk factors likely to affect Gaz Métro's actual results are included in the Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended September 30, 2013 of Valener, the public investment vehicle in Gaz Métro, and of Gaz Métro, and in Valener's disclosure filings. These documents are available on SEDAR.