Michael Phelps

    Westcoast Energy Inc was founded in the 1950's as a private pipeline transmission utility to move natural gas out of the western side of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin to British Columbia's lower mainland and the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
     Even when, for a period of time when it owned gas exploration and production interests, with mixed results, Westcoast was a footnote among Canadian petroleum-sector companies. Then in the early 1990's, Phelps directed the acquisition of more than 1 million natural gas local distribution customers in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and B.C.
     His daring grab of local distribution services while the ink was still wet on deregulation that would have previously inhibited such a move, redefined business opportunities for Canadian utilities. Five years later, Phelps is still pushing the envelope for non-regulated business development by regulated utilities. "We are engaged in new and exciting lines of business such as international projects, trading in gas and electricity and power generation. These all focus our activities ever increasingly in the non-regulated arena."
     In Canada, Westcoast has five operating cogeneration power projects and one under construction, with combined 422 MW of output. The steam hosts include a gas plant in British Columbia, a cement plant, a pulp and paper mill, a packaging plant and a steel plant all in Ontario.
     Westcoast is now developing Canada's largest-ever cogeneration project, a 240 MW plant on Vancouver Island in conjunction with a major pulp mill at Campbell River owned by international forestry giant Fletcher Challenge. This project is synergistic with a major natural gas pipeline built from the mainland to the Island, in which Westcoast has an interest.
     Through Westcoast International, a subsidiary tasked with developing foreign business, the Company is developing or investing in a total of six power projects in China, Indonesia the Philippines and Australia.
     Westcoast international's efforts export our core strengths to new geographic areas and the rapid power demand growth overseas allows us to get in on the ground floor and build energy infrastructure projects around those assets.
    . This past September Westcoast and The Coastal Corporation of Houston announced a merger of their natural gas an electricity wholesale marketing and services subsidiaries.