Manitoba Hydro reorganizes international subsidiary MHI

Manitoba Hydro has announced the reorganization of its subsidiary Manitoba Hydro International (MHI) to help ensure the subsidiary’s business aligns with Strategy 2040.

Strategy 2040 is Manitoba Hydro’s long-term strategic plan, developed to enhance the focus on the utility’s core business of delivering clean, affordable and reliable energy to Manitobans.

The reorganization follows an independent review of MHI operations, which determined that MHI was operating in higher-risk international countries that exposed Manitoba customers to potential liabilities, including security risks for employees and financial risks. In addition, Manitoba Hydro customers effectively subsidized MHI through its use of Manitoba Hydro assets.

MHI was established outside the purview of the Public Utilities Board as it has been operating in a global competitive environment. This contributed to insufficient accountability and transparency. MHI’s arms-length operational structure was designed to keep it separate, but this does not support Manitoba Hydro’s commitment to Manitobans for full transparency and accountability.

International consulting is the line of business that is least aligned with Manitoba Hydro’s core operations. It is also a highly competitive field dominated by large international firms whose sole focus is consulting. Other Canadian utilities have already exited the international consulting business for similar reasons, a press release said.

“The reorganization will further strengthen our governance, oversight and public accountability that Manitobans expect and deserve,” said Marina R. James, Manitoba Hydro-Electric board chair.

MHI will continue to operate as a subsidiary of Manitoba Hydro. Additionally, the business lines of MHI focused on technology solutions will continue to operate under the MHI banner. As part of the reorganization, the international consulting business of MHI, operating under Manitoba Hydro International Utility Services (MHIUS), will be gradually wound down as contracts expire. Existing contracts with MHIUS customers will be honored and supported.

All permanent MHI staff will be offered employment at Manitoba Hydro.

“Offering MHI’s highly skilled employees a chance to join Manitoba Hydro’s team provides a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the value of Manitoba Hydro. This is an important step as we focus on Strategy 2040, bringing greater focus to our core business of providing our customers with safe, clean, efficient, and reliable energy at the lowest possible cost,” said Jay Grewal, Manitoba Hydro president and chief executive officer. “Today’s announcement brings an even greater focus to our core business while retaining access to and continuing to market the world-class made-in-Manitoba technology offered by MHI. As part of Strategy 2040 we are learning from the past to move forward and become even stronger.”

Manitoba Hydro serves 586,795 electric customers in Manitoba and 284,996 natural gas customers in southern Manitoba. About 96% of the electricity the company produces is generated at 15 hydroelectric stations on the Nelson, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Burntwood and Laurie rivers.

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