Suncor Energy is completing a sale for part of the interest in their East Tank Farm Development.
The Fort McKay First Nation and the Mikisew Cree First Nation have purchased 49 per cent of the project for $503 million. The two First Nations were able to raise the funds through the issuance of $545 million – which will be due by December 31, 2041.
The East Tank Farm Development is located around 30km north of Fort McMurray and stores bitumen and diluent while also serving as a blending and cooling facility. It mostly works on bitumen coming from the Fort Hills oilsands mining project.
“The deal represents the largest business investment to date by a First Nation entity in Canada, and not only demonstrates the great potential for partnerships between First Nations and industry but serves as a model for how First Nations can achieve greater self-determination through financial independence,” said Jim Boucher, Chief of FMFN, in a release.
“This is an example of how First Nations and natural resource development companies can find ways to support each other for the mutual long-term benefits.”
The Fort McKay First nation will own 34.3 per cent equity interest – paying around $350 million of the deal.
The Mikisew Cree First Nation will own 14.7 per cent equity interest – paying around $147 million of the deal.
“We are ecstatic to see this partnership come to reality. It has allowed us to collaborate in a true partnership and demonstrates the possibilities of how future successful business models between First Nations and industry across this country can be achieved,” said Archie Waquan, Chief of MCFN, in a release.
Waquan notes the purchase will help the First Nation’s businesses, develop infrastructure, fund social economic programs, and help provide education and training for youth.
“This will be felt in our community for generations to come,” he added.