TransCanada CEO says no firm timelines yet
CALGARY - TransCanada Corp. ( TSX:TRP) is still not prepared to offer a firm timeline for the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline, its top executive said on Friday, even after U.S. President Donald Trump granted the project a permit in March. TransCanada CEO Russ Girling said that both the proposed Keystone XL and Energy East projects, which are fiercely opposed by many environmentalists, sit in the company’s longer-term bucket because of the difficulty of getting them done.
“We’ve been at them for a long time, so it’s hard to say with any credibility that we’re going to get it done by a date,’’ he told the company’s annual general meeting. Girling said TransCanada will instead look to its multitude of projects in the $500 million to $1 billion dollar range - which he said are are much easier to permit - to help deliver its projected eight to 10 per cent dividend growth through the rest of the decade. “What’s driving our growth and the focus of the company is the $23 billion of things that we’ve got under construction, and the organic growth that’s naturally going to come from that activity,’’ he said.
The cautious approach comes even as Keystone XL looks more possible than it has in years given Trump’s support. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, rejected the project in 2015 after environmentalists argued it would spur the development of Alberta’s oil sands and worsen climate change.