Westcoast Transmission Co.

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Westcoast Transmission Co. Ltd.
IndustryGas transportation, Energy pipeline
FateAcquired by Duke Energy in 2002
Key people
Michael Phelps (CEO)[1]
ProductsEnergy Transportation services
OwnerDuke Energy

Westcoast Transmission Co. Ltd. was a Canadian company founded in 1949 by entrepreneur Frank McMahon who saw an enormous opportunity to supply natural gas to the huge industrial and residential markets in the United States.

In 1949, through a special Act of the Parliament of Canada, he incorporated Westcoast Transmission Co. Ltd. whose business plan included the construction of a 650-mile gas pipeline from Taylor in north-eastern British Columbia to the United States. McMahon personally began lobbying the Canadian and American governments to remove their restrictions on the export and import of natural gas. After exhaustive efforts he succeeded and in 1955 construction began on the Westcoast Pipeline, Canada's first "big-inch" pipeline. Along with its gathering system, processing plants and compressor stations were completed in the fall of 1957. In 1964, Westcoast Transmission built another processing plant at Fort Nelson, British Columbia in support of an additional 250-mile line to the company's new discoveries in the Canadian Northwest. In 1974, Westcoast Tramsmission created Foothills Pipeline Ltd., a subsidiary company established to build and operate the Canadian portions of the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System.

Westcoast sold the company's natural gas distribution subsidiary, Centra Gas Manitoba, to Manitoba Hydro in 1999.[1]

After McMahon's death in 1986, Westcoast Transmission Co. Ltd. was renamed Westcoast Energy Inc., and in 2002 Duke Energy of Charlotte, North Carolina, acquired the company in a deal worth US$3.5 billion.[2] The natural gas pipeline business was later spun off as part of Spectra Energy, which merged with Enbridge in 2017.[3]


  1. ^ a b Nutt, Rob (March 12, 1999). "Centra Gas sale nets $58 million for Westcoast". The Vancouver Sun. 113 (257) (Friday ed.). p. H6 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ "U.S. giant Duke Energy grabs Westcoast in $3.5-billion (U.S.) deal". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  3. ^ "Release Details". www.enbridge.com. Retrieved 2019-03-17.