Hydro-Quebec agrees to buy NB Power for C$4.75 billion

State-owned Hydro-Quebec, the world’s largest producer of hydropower, will purchase most of the assets of New Brunswick Power in a C$4.75 billion (US$4.45 billion) deal that will lower rates for New Brunswick customers.

Hydro-Quebec owns and operates 59 hydroelectric plants. The acquisition, which is pending regulatory approval, would give Hydro-Quebec seven more hydroelectric plants, including the 672-MW Mactaquac project.

Terms of the deal are set out in a memorandum of understanding signed by the premiers of both Canadian provinces. The deal includes New Brunswick’s transmission system, which extends into the state of Maine.

“We have an American neighbor that needs energy, needs clean and renewable energy, and needs to obtain this energy from a reliable source, and that source is here,” said Quebec Premier Jean Charest.

The deal, which is scheduled to close March 31, would eliminate New Brunswick’s C$4.75 billion debt. In addition, the utility would continue to operate as a separate utility headquartered in Fredericton, New Brunswick’s capital.

“This proposed agreement is an exciting opportunity for New Brunswick, and in the public interest,” New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham. “Homeowners will see rates much lower than under the status quo, and we will now share Quebec’s competitive industrial rates.”

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