Fort Reliance calls for regional transmission system - Forms new joint
venture company to foster cooperation and invest up to $1-2B

MONCTON, Jan. 18 /CNW/ - Fort Reliance today called for a regional transmission system in Eastern Canada to foster energy collaboration across political boundaries. A shared transmission system would lower energy costs, improve carbon emissions performance, lay the foundation for a smart grid, and facilitate economic development. To advance this cooperative approach to regional infrastructure and to jointly develop with interested partners new transmission projects in the range of $1-2 billion, the company has formed a new joint venture company: Portage Energy Limited.

"It is known that a system producing and delivering electricity that is coordinated across political boundaries can bring significant environmental benefits and lower the cost of power," said Kenneth Irving of Fort Reliance. "We wanted to create something that would help individual companies and governments to work together so that this greater good could be achieved."

Over the last year and a half, Fort Reliance has been engaged in feasibility work for the Northeast Energy Corridor initiative, as well as study work to delineate the optimum structure of a regional transmission system to best meet economic and environmental goals. The company has always believed that a shared approach to the region's energy infrastructure would unlock economic and environmental value, and its most recent analysis confirms that a regional transmission system with additional private and public sector investment in the range of $1-2 billion would increase the free flow of lower cost and greener energy across provincial borders.

"A regional transmission system obviously goes well beyond the walls of any one organization, and success will only be achieved if governments, communities, and energy companies in our region believe this is a worthwhile initiative," added Kenneth Irving. "However, as a company that is committed to collaboration on a shared vision for energy development and to the long-term success of this region, we are stepping up now because we believe we can play a positive role in this effort."

Portage will have two strategic priorities: 1) to work collaboratively with governments, communities, and industry in the region to achieve a shared transmission system, and 2) to work to attract private and public sector partners and investors to jointly develop up to $1-2 billion of new transmission infrastructure that would maximize economic and environmental performance across provincial and potentially international boundaries.

About Fort Reliance Limited

Fort Reliance is the family-owned, privately held parent company for Irving Oil and various Irving Oil companies. Over the last decade, Fort Reliance has supported the development of major energy infrastructure and economic growth in the region by attracting outside investment and partnering with companies like Repsol, TransCanada, Air Liquide, and Emera to invest in an LNG terminal, power plants, and pipelines.

About Portage Energy Limited

Portage is a newly formed joint-venture subsidiary of Fort Reliance. Portage will work collaboratively with governments and interested partners to support cross-border cooperation and to invest in the development of a regional transmission system.


For further information: For further information: Daniel Goodwin, Fort Reliance, (506) 202-2433

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