MRO Magazine

Move to sell Ontario’s Hydro One begins


Industry

September 18, 2015
By The Canadian Press

Toronto – Ontario’s Liberal government has taken the next step towards selling Hydro One, filing a prospectus for an initial public offering in the huge electricity transmission utility.

A preliminary prospectus has been filed with the Ontario Securities Commission and its counterparts across the country, which provides a detailed overview of Hydro One, including its operations, its outlook and its $22.6 billion in total assets.

The government hopes to raise $9 billion from a sale of 60% of Hydro One, which owns the province’s transmission grid and also serves as a local electricity distributor for 1.4 million customers, mostly in rural and northern Ontario.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says the Liberals need money from the sale to help fund a 10-year, $130-billion program for public transit and infrastructure, although she promises to use $5 billion of the revenue to pay down hydro debt.

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Both Ontario’s opposition parties oppose the privatization of Hydro One and warn it will send already high electricity rates even higher and turn a public utility into a private enterprise.

The eight independent officers of the Ontario legislature _ including the auditor general and ombudsman _ banded together to condemn the Hydro One sale, warning it will shield the company from public scrutiny.

Wynne claims by holding on to 40% of Hydro One and limiting other buyers to a maximum of 10%, the province will retain control of the company and its board.