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Hydro-Québec buys NB Power, eyes PEI and NS power utilities for hydro transmission to US

The Globe and Mail reports that, “Hydro-Québec… is taking over New Brunswick Power Group (and) has also approached Prince Edward Island to strike a similar deal, and is also eyeing Nova Scotia Power, a subsidiary of Emera Energy, a source in the Quebec government said.”

“This comes as U.S. officials pressure eastern Canadian utilities to merge, a move that would make it easier to co-ordinate production and transmission of electricity to the eastern United States.”

“Given that the region’s most important source of electricity is Hydro-Québec, U.S. officials are eager to see it take over its smaller rivals in the Maritimes, the government official said.”

“The deal, worth close to $10-billion in total, will see Hydro-Québec spend $4.7-billion for the assets of New Brunswick Power, which will become a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec.”

“The Point Lepreau nuclear generating station was also part of the deal and will be taken over by Hydro Quebec once Atomic Energy Canada completes a $1.4-billion refurbishing contract.”

“In return, Hydro-Québec gains access to a transmission corridor to the major U.S. markets at a time when the giant utility proceeds with major projects, including the La Romaine complex and expansion of the James Bay’s hydroelectric capacity.”

The full article is at http://www.globeinvestor.com/servlet/story/GI.20091028.escenic_1342709/GIStory/