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BC Hydro has option to buy share of Waneta Dam after Teck announces sale

VANCOUVER, B.C. – BC Hydro has the option to purchase the remaining two-thirds share of the Waneta Dam in southern B.C. after it was announced today that the dam’s majority owner, Teck Resources, had sold its stake to Fortis Inc. for $1.2 billion.

In 2010, BC Hydro purchased a one-third share of the Waneta Dam for $825 million. The dam, which is located near Trail, was originally built in 1954 by the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada (now known as Teck Resources) to generate power for its smelter in Trail. The dam’s four turbines generate a total of 490 megawatts and produce approximately 2,800 gigawatt hours of energy per year. Though Hydro owns a one-third stake, FortisBC currently operates and maintains both the Waneta Dam and Waneta Expansion generating stations.

The terms of the sale between Teck and Fortis includes a lease agreement where the two-thirds share would continue to supply power to Teck’s smelter in Trail, B.C. at a fixed price. Under its Co-Ownership and Operating Agreement with Teck, BC Hydro has the right of first offer enabling it to match Fortis’s offer and purchase the two-thirds share of the Waneta Dam under the equivalent terms.

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In a statement today, BC Hydro has 60 days to review the transaction and make a decision. A decision to move forward would be subject to approval by the BC Utilities Commission and a transaction would need to be completed within 12 months of Hydro’s decision. The BC Utilities Commission previously found that Hydro’s purchase of a one-third interest in the Waneta Dam was in the public interest.

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