TransCanada inks deals in C$3 billion divestiture program


CALGARY�Calgary-based TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. stands to collect some $190 million through the sale, announced today, of its natural gas pipelines and marketing interests in Mexico to a unit of Gaz de France SA, and a Venezuelan gas processing facility to Williams International.

The sales form part of a $3 billion (Can.) plus divestiture program by the Canadian company.

The Mexican sale to Gaz de France unit GDF International SA consists of:

� 67.5% of Energia Mayakan, S. de R.L. de C.V., a pipeline company that owns and operates a 435 mile natural gas pipeline in Mexico;

� 100% of TransCanada del Bajio, S. de R.L. de C.V., a pipeline company that is currently building a 124-mile natural gas line in Mexico;

� 50% of TransNatural, S. de R.L. de C.V., a natural gas marketing company;

� 100% of TransCanada International (Mexico), S.A. de C.V., a company offering bundled energy services to industrial natural gas consumers in Mexico.

The Venezuelan asset sale to the Williams unit consists of:

� 49.25% of Accroven SRL, which will own and operate a gas liquids extraction, fractionation and refrigeration facility currently under construction;

� 47.5% of Accroserv SRL, a related company.

The Accroven project, located in the Eastern Cryogenic Complex of Venezuela, includes the construction and operation of two 400 MMcfd gas liquids extraction plants, a 50,000 b/d gas liquids fractionation plant, and associated storage and refrigeration facilities for Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).

Construction on the project began in mid 1999, with the three plants scheduled for operation in May 2001.

John Bumgarner, Williams International president, said, "This project fits strategically with Williams' other investments in Venezuela. We expect ACCROVEN will provide PDVSA with significant natural gas liquids volumes available for export, as well as residue gas used to maintain and enhance oil recovery in eastern Venezuela.''

TransCanada said the effective date of both transactions is Sept. 30, 2000. The Mexican sale is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, pending consents and approvals. The company said it expects to receive all consents and approvals to close the Venezuelan deal in the next 30 to 45 days.

TransCanada CEO Doug Baldwin said the sales bring the company close to completion of its divestiture program, aimed at selling assets in order to focus on its core natural gas transmission, power, and marketing services in Canada and the northern tier of the US.

The company's non-core asset sales or agreements since last December are worth about $3.4 billion (Can.), said Baldwin.

TransCanada said remaining assets in the process of being sold include:

� TransGas natural gas pipeline in Colombia;

� GasPacifico natural gas pipeline between Argentina and Chile;

� Paiton power plant in Indonesia;

� Other minor interests in Latin America and the Harmattan gas gathering and processing facility in Alberta.

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