22 June 2009

Chamber concerned seized central hydro assets gain for provincial government, loss for region

The Exploits Regional Chamber of Commerce is very concerned about the benefits from seized hydroelectric assets going somewhere other than the region of the province in which they are located, according to the Grand Falls-Windsor Advertiser.

The chamber estimates that based on electricity used by AbitibiBowater (54 megawatts), savings to Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro in excess of $70 million annually are being realized.

The chamber wrote the CEO of Nalcor in May to try and meet to discuss how the Exploits region could benefit from being adjacent to the source of the power. While the letter was copied to local MHAs and members of the provincial Ministerial Task Force set up to deal with the closure of the mill, Nalcor has not responded.

NALCOR is the provincial government energy company which took control of the assets earlier this year.  They were seized by the government from three companies:  AbitibiBowater, ENEL and St. John’s-based Fortis.