09 May 2011

Fortis on Lower Churchill: No thanks

Fortis had a chance to join in the Lower Churchill project but passed on it because the company has a policy of [not] taking a minority interest in government projects. [edit]

According to the Telegram’s Saturday edition, Fortis chief executive Stan Marshall told shareholders that:
“One of those principles is that we will not get involved in minority situations with governments. That is an absolute rule I have observed.” 
Fortis is currently partnered in the Waneta hydro project with a pair of power companies owned by the B.C. government to build a $900-million power plant.
“You’ll note we own 51 per cent,” said Marshall. “We would not have gotten involved with less than … 51 per  cent.”
Following the  shareholder meeting, Marshall was asked why the company avoids minority stakes.
“Simply when things go wrong we’d like to be able to rectify them,” he told reporters.
“If you’re going to go in with a partner you’ve got to know that partner very, very well, have a lot of commonality.
“Governments … their agenda can be very, very  different than a private enterprise.”
- srbp -