ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd. (formerly Canadian Western Natural Gas Company Limited), a subsidiary of Canadian Utilities Limited, an ATCO Company is involved in a number of applications which involve the setting of rates and a substantial restructuring of the gas industry in Alberta. The first phase occurred on March 2, 2000, when ATCO received a decision from the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board on its 1997 capital structure and return on common equity and its 1998 rate application. The decision provided for an allowed rate of return of 10.5 per cent and 9.375 per cent for 1997 and 1998, respectively. In addition, the decision allows ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd. an approved common equity component of 37.0 per cent.
Phase two, which took place on June 13, 2000, involved the apportionment of the refund to consumers and the restructuring of the rate system in line with the outcomes achieved in phase one. Intertwined between the two phases was a hearing involving the merger of Canadian Western Natural Gas with Northwestern Utilities, which operates in Northern Alberta, to join under the banner of ATCO. The merger is expected to be completed by January, 2001.
A number of parties are playing a significant role in the proceedings: ATCO is being represented by Laurie Smith, Q.C., and Alice Woolley of Bennett Jones; The City of Calgary is represented by Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer’s Bruce Brander and Patricia Quinton-Campbell; Municipal Intervenors are being represented by J. Alan Bryan, Q.C. of Bryan & Co.; Consumers Coalition Association is represented by Jim Wachowich of Wachowich & Co.; Public Institutional Consumers of Alberta is being represented by Nancy McKenzie, Edmonton; Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops and Gas Alberta is being represented by Leo J. Burgess of Brownlee, Fryett; EPCOR is being represented by Jonathan Liteplo of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP; various Aboriginal concerns are being represented by Lewis Manning; the Paigan Nation are represented by A. O. Ackroyd, Q.C. of Ackroyd, Piasta, Roth & Day; ENMAX Energy Corporation is represented by Hugh Williamson, Q.C. of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP; Pan Canadian Petroleum is being represented by Donald Davies of Macleod Dixon; Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is being represented by Nikol Shultz; and Crossalta Storage is being represented by Kemm Yates of Stikeman Elliott.