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Thunder Bay, Kenora utilities consider merger

Possible merger of the utilities require municipal approvals
Power line
Power line

A memorandum of understanding between Thunder Bay Hydro Electricity Distribution and Kenora Hydro Electric Corporation has been signed to authorize the exploration of a merger between the two utilities.

“The current technological and regulatory environment offers both opportunities for and challenges to local electricity distribution companies that might be better addressed through an integration of resources,” said Kenora Hydro president-CEO Dave Sinclair in a joint Oct. 21 statement from the two utilities.

“Our two utilities have already worked together in areas such as conservation, back office support and the acquisition of Smart Meter Technology. We share common values and have agreed on some vital common objectives as we explore the possibility of a merger.”

“A number of Ontario LDC’s are currently exploring or undertaking consolidation in order to achieve economies of scale and enhance their capability to serve customers in an industry that continues to become more complex,” said Thunder Bay Hydro president-CEO Robert Mace. “As this complexity continues, larger, better resourced utilities will be better positioned to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of our customers.”

An analysis will revolve around potential advantages and feasibility of how their customers, municipal shareholders and other stakeholders might benefit through such a merger.

This analysis will include consultation with customers and shareholders in both Kenora and Thunder Bay. A merger of the two utilities will require the approval of the City of Kenora and the City of Thunder Bay, who are the owners of each company.

Kenora Hydro has 14 employees who deliver electricity to 5,600 customers. Thunder Bay Hydro has 130 employees who service more than 50,000 customers.