ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(CCNMatthews - June 22, 2006) - Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS)
Belize Electricity Limited, a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., issued the following media release on June 21, 2006.
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) has announced that its Share Purchase Offering closed on Monday, June 19, 2006, with approximately 97 per cent of the share purchase rights being exercised, amounting to about BZ$66.8 million in proceeds.
Under the terms of the offering, BEL issued a right to acquire one Ordinary Share at par value BZ$2.00 for every Ordinary Share issued and outstanding. BEL now has issued about 67.8 million Ordinary Shares as compared to about 34.4 million at the opening of the offering.
"The success of this offering reflects the confidence our shareholders continue to demonstrate in the Company," said President and Chief Executive Officer Lynn Young. "It will enable us to repay short term debt incurred over the past two years to finance the Rate Stabilization Account for the cost of power and fuel. Most importantly for our customers, will be our ability to continue with our development plans to improve service reliability and meet the growing energy demand of Belize."
According to Young, BEL's investment in capital projects is expected to approach BZ$177 million over the next five years. Works will include upgrades to minimize system damage and service interruptions from tropical storms, expansion of the distribution system to meet high demands and upgrades to the transmission system to reduce losses and improve power quality.
BEL, the primary distributor of electricity in Belize, Central America, serves almost 69,000 customers. The Company meets a peak demand of 63 megawatts. Growth in energy demand continues at a rate of approximately 6 per cent annually.
Fortis includes forward-looking statements in this material. By their very nature, forward-looking statements are based on underlying assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally. Such events include, but are not limited to, general economic, market and business conditions, regulatory developments, weather and competition. Fortis cautions readers that should certain events or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary significantly from those expected. For additional information with respect to certain of these risks or factors, reference should be made to the Corporation's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. The Corporation disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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