Enbridge Inc. announced on Tuesday a 9.8 per cent increase in the company’s common share dividend, and outlined its new strategic plan which includes moving ahead on the Line 3 pipeline replacement in the U.S.
The company says it is focused on maintaining resilience and prudently growing its three core franchises: liquids pipelines, gas transmission, and gas distribution and storage.
The priorities include:
- Ensuring safe and reliable operations and provision of effective and cost-efficient transportation solutions for customers.
- Enhancing the business through asset optimization, cost efficiencies and low-risk growth.
- Executing on a $11-billion secured growth capital program, including the U.S. segment of the Line 3 replacement project.
- Growing core businesses through capital efficient organic growth, disciplined capital allocation, and preservation of balance sheet strength and flexibility.
“Our assets are essential to meeting North America’s standard of living and economic growth,” said CEO Al Monaco. “With the significant repositioning of the company now complete following the Spectra transaction, our asset base and low risk business model position us very well for the future.
“While we make changes to our plans and priorities to adapt to the business environment, one thing that will always stay the same is our focus on the safety and reliability of our systems – this is the single most important priority for everyone at Enbridge.”
Enbridge began service on the Canadian segment of the Line 3 Replacement project on Dec 1. The company states it will enhance the safety and reliability of the system in Canada while providing additional mainline flexibility.
The company continues to work through the regulatory process for Line 3. On Monday, it was announced that the Minnesota Department of Commerce has put in place the process for additional spill modelling work as directed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Built in the 1960s, Line 3 carries crude oil from Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. It includes a 500-plus km stretch across northern Minnesota, where it has run into fierce opposition from environmental groups. Enbridge states that the 50-year-old pipeline is in desperate need of replacement, suffering from corrosion and cracking.
The public will have until Jan. 16, 2020, to comment on the adequacy of the plan. One day has been set aside for oral comment – Dec. 19, 2019.
Enbridge says it will require further clarity on regulatory and permitting process and timing before it is in a position to assess the implications to the in-service date of the U.S. segment of the pipeline.