June 22, 2018
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Bangor Hydro, MPS plan merger

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Bangor Hydro Electric Co. and Maine Public Service of Presque Isle will become subsidiaries of a U.S. and Canadian energy company with $5.4 billion in assets if state and federal authorities OK a proposed merger, officials said Monday.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have begun reviewing Emera Inc.’s proposed merger between Maine & Maritimes Corp., which owns MPS, and Emera subsidiary BHE Holdings Inc. of Bangor, which operates Bangor Hydro.

The PUC review will conclude by Oct. 4, with FERC’s review finishing sometime closely thereafter, said Virginia R. Joles, spokeswoman and economic development director for MPS.

“However, they [PUC officials] are in technical conferences right now, so it could be earlier if there is a settlement or a stipulation made by the PUC. That date is uncertain, but for sure their decision is due by Oct. 4,” Joles said Monday.

A FERC decision will follow, she said.

Exactly how customers of both utilities will be affected by the merger, or see any benefits from it, remains unclear, Joles said.

Maine & Maritimes Corp. announced last week that 99 percent of its shareholders voted in favor of adopting the merger agreement with BHE.

Emera is an energy and services company with $5.4 billion in assets that draws 94 percent of its revenues from Nova Scotia Power Inc., Bangor Hydro Electric Co. and the Brunswick Pipeline. Nova Scotia Power and BHE are wholly-owned regulated electric utilities which together serve 603,000 customers.

The Brunswick Pipeline is a 145-km gas pipeline in New Brunswick. Emera also owns percentages of utilities in Barbados and the Caribbean islands of St. Lucia and Grand Bahama.

It also owns Bayside Power, a 260-megawatt gas-fired power plant in Saint John, New Brunswick; a 600-megawatt pumped storage hydroelectric facility in northern Massachusetts; and portions of other companies.

Bangor Hydro is an electric utility wholly-owned by Emera. Bangor Hydro serves 117,000 customers in an area encompassing 5,275 square miles in eastern and east coastal Maine, company officials said.

Maine & Maritimes is the parent company of Maine Public Service, a regulated electric transmission and distribution utility serving approximately 36,000 electricity customer accounts in Northern Maine, company officials said.

MAM is also the parent company of MAM Utility Services Group, an unregulated corporation that provides electrical services, including transmission line and substation design and construction. The companies’ corporate headquarters is in Presque Isle.

“We are pleased that MAM shareholders have overwhelmingly supported this transaction,” MAM board Chairman Richard G. Daigle said in a statement. “We look forward to completing the merger with Emera and to creating a stronger company within the Emera family.”

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