ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 2, 2006) - Newfoundland Power Inc. (TSX:FTS) has received approval of its 2007 Capital Budget from the Newfoundland and Labrador Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities. The Company will invest approximately $62 million next year to strengthen its electricity system and enhance reliability for customers.
"Our customers depend on us to deliver reliable service every day of the year," says Karl Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, Newfoundland Power Inc. "Our ability to provide safe and reliable electricity service to customers at the lowest cost is largely dependent upon the quality and condition of our capital assets. That's why the main focus of the 2007 capital expenditures continues to be the refurbishment and upgrading of our electricity system."
Approximately $18.8 million of the 2007 Capital Budget will be used to refurbish the Rattling Brook hydroelectric plant in Central Newfoundland. The plant, which began operation in 1958, now requires extensive upgrading.
"The improvements to the Rattling Brook hydroelectric plant will provide additional clean energy that will displace approximately 10,500 barrels of oil on an annual basis. Given the current cost of fuel, this project comes at a very good time for our customers," added Smith.
Other highlights of the 2007 Capital Budget include rebuilds of major transmission lines on the Bonavista Peninsula, Bay de Verde Peninsula and Southern Shore.
The Company has an asset base of approximately $1.1 billion that is geographically dispersed throughout the Island and includes: 23 hydroelectric plants; 6 thermal plants; 130 substations; approximately 270,000 distribution and 27,000 transmission poles; and 10,000 km of distribution and transmission lines. The Company continues to work hard to improve the performance of these assets to provide reliable service in one of the harshest environments in the country.
Approval of the 2007 Capital Budget allows the Company to immediately begin detailed construction planning and ordering of materials so that work can commence as early as weather permits in the new year.
All the common shares of Newfoundland Power are owned by Fortis Inc., a diversified, international electric utility holding company with assets approaching $4.5 billion and annual revenues of more than $1.4 billion. The Common Shares, First Preference Shares, Series C, First Preference Shares, Series E and First Preference Shares, Series F of Fortis are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols FTS, FTS.PR.C, FTS.PR.E and FTS.PR.F, respectively. Fortis information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com.
With a customer base of over 228,000 accounts, Newfoundland Power is dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service and reliability in the most cost-efficient manner possible. Newfoundland Power is also leading the charge on energy efficiency in this province with BrightIdeas(TM), an energy efficiency program aimed at helping customers save energy and money. For more information on Newfoundland Power's programs and services, visit www.newfoundlandpower.com.
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Newfoundland Power Inc.
Director Corporate Communications