Enbridge CEO says federal incentives for clean tech will spur investment in Canada

CALGARY — The new incentives for clean energy development in the federal government's fall fiscal update will make a real difference in helping to attract investment capital to Canada, the chief executive of Enbridge Inc. said Friday.

On a conference call to discuss the pipeline giant's third quarter financial results, CEO Al Monaco said the Calgary-based company is encouraged by measures announced by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on Thursday.

In an effort to encourage the growth of low-carbon energy alternatives, as well as keep Canada competitive with the U.S. and its massive Inflation Reduction Act, the federal government is creating two new federal tax credits for clean technology and low-emitting hydrogen production.

"I think it's recognized from what I read last night that you've got to be competitive. And I think, as I said, this will try to close the gap so that we get our share in Canada of investment dollars," Monaco said.

"My read of this early on is it will be attractive for business here, both in terms of Canada attracting capital, but also for us specific to our business generally."

The fiscal update said the specifics of the promised tax credit for clean hydrogen production and new investment measures to spur growth in electric vehicle and battery manufacturing are still in development.

There are more details on the new tax credit for investments in clean electricity generation, energy storage systems and low-carbon heating equipment, including that it will cost nearly $6.7 billion over the next five years and launch the day the 2023 federal budget is tabled.

It will also be the first Canadian tax credit that is more lucrative for companies that pay a fair market wage and have training programs for young workers.

Enbridge, which moves about 30 per cent of the crude oil produced in North America and transports nearly 20 per cent of the natural gas consumed in the U.S., has committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The company has a growing off-shore wind portfolio, and has also proposed low-carbon projects using new technologies such as hydrogen, renewable natural gas, and carbon capture and storage.

On Friday, Enbridge announced it earned $1.28 billion in its latest quarter, up from $682 million in the same quarter last year.

The pipeline operator said the profit amounted to 63 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from 34 cents per share a year ago.

Operating revenue grew to $11.57 billion in the company's third quarter, compared with $11.47 billion in 2021.

On an adjusted basis, Enbridge said it earned 67 cents per share in its latest quarter, up from an adjusted profit of 59 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 64 cents per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2022..

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Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press