Macro-Spiecapag JV Inks Deal for New Pipeline in BC

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project, designed to parallel the existing pipeline that serves as the only West Coast link for Western Canadian oil, has been a source of controversy in Canada, with opponents arguing that certain groups, such as First Nations, weren't adequately consulted prior to the November 2016 approval of the $7.4-billion project that will basically triple pipeline capacity to 890,000 barrels of oil per day.

That doesn't mean that companies aren't moving forward. On Thursday, Macro Enterprises Inc. (TSX-V:MCR) said that, along with its 50/50 joint venture partner Spiecapag Canada Corp., a French-based pipeline contractor and unit of concessions and construction giant Vinci S.A., a contract has been executed with Trans Mountain Pipeline L.P. for construction work on the project.

Last month, the JV was selected by Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. (TSX:KML) as one of several contractors for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
Coming in at a cost of $375 million, the phased, reimbursable type contract lays out plans for construction of about 85 kilometres of 36-inch pipeline along the Coquihalla-Hope corridor in British Columbia. Field construction is expected to begin upon all requisite approvals and run through November 2019.

Frank Miles, President and CEO of Macro commented in a news release on the contract that he will continue to support Trans Mountain and its work with Aboriginal and local communities "ensuring a positive working relationship now and in the future."

Shares of MCR have been on the rise since a June low at $1.60, including getting a pop early in September upon being selected by Kinder Morgan to be part of the massive project. The controversy has resulted in some undulations in price, but today's news has the stock on the climb again, nearing a 52-week high by gaining 8.3% to $2.75 as of about 11 a.m. EDT.