FortisBC completes C$200M Mt. Hayes natural gas storage facility that holds 1.5 bcf of LNG; construction at site near Ladysmith, British Columbia, began three years ago, facility to come into service in late 2011

SURREY, British Columbia , June 13, 2011 (press release) – Facility provides a safe, reliable source of natural gas for Vancouver Island and mainland customers well into the future

FortisBC president and CEO John Walker was joined today by local First Nations, government officials, community leaders and major contractors to mark completion of FortisBC's Mt. Hayes Natural Gas Storage Facility.

Construction at the site began three years ago, and the facility will come into service by late 2011.

"The storage facility represents an important part of the province's energy infrastructure and will help FortisBC meet current and future gas demands on Vancouver Island and the mainland," said John Walker, president and CEO, FortisBC.

"It will do this by providing a reliable, cost-competitive means of storing gas close to the customers we serve while reducing the dependence on out-of-province storage facilities. Completion of the facility provides greater flexibility to meet customer needs during winter months when demand for natural gas is at its highest or planned and unplanned system interruptions," said Walker.

Construction of the facility created substantial mid-Island economic and employment benefits, including:

- investment of $70 million in the region, due in large part to FortisBC sourcing local suppliers for goods and services
- local, direct employment - an average of 40 workers per year over the three-year construction project
- 12 full-time operations jobs at the facility

"Throughout the entire project - from consultation and planning to building and construction - FortisBC has worked closely with community members, sharing project details and milestones. We have only to look to this project as a reminder of what can be accomplished through collaboration. The benefits of the facility will extend beyond the immediate area to the province as a whole," said Mary Marcotte, director, Area H, Cowichan Valley Regional District.

"Stz'uminus First Nation understands that building relationships and partnerships is critical to creating economic sustainability in our territory," said Chief John Elliott, Stz'uminus First Nation. The FortisBC project is just one of many business opportunities we will be involved with in our territory that will help create economic certainty for our Nations future. We are focused on building a self sufficient Nation."

The 12-hectare facility site is contained within the 84-hectare project site, known as Mt. Hayes, located approximately six kilometres northwest of Ladysmith. The storage tank holds 1.5 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas and the project cost is approximately $200 million.

To learn more about the Mt. Hayes Natural Gas Storage Facility visit www.fortisbc.com

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