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Ontario Mining Association concerned about the future supply, price of electricity.

The Ontario Mining Association (OMA) is expressing concern about both the future supply and price of electricity in the province.

The association has raised several concerns over changes made to Ontario Hydro's 25-year demand/supply plan, and is requesting that environmental assessment hearings concerning the plan be resumed in order to clarify its concerns.

The OMA has expressed three major concerns related to Hydro's revised demand/supply plan.

The first concern involves the planning process.

The association charges that the revised plan, in which Hydro significantly reduced its projections of future electricity demands, has created a loss of confidence in Ontario Hydro and has affected investor confidence, economic growth and job creation.

The OMA is urging Ontario Hydro to plan for the upper, not median, of growth in demand.

SHORTAGE

"By definition, planning to the median guarantees that there will be a shortage of power 50 per cent of the time," according to the association.

"Planning for the median load growth rather than the upper defers the need for major new supplies of electricity from 2001 to sometime between 2009 and 2011."

The association's second concern is that the utility is placing too much emphasis on demand management (conservation), non-utility (private) generation, natural gas and coal. It claims that natural gas can be one of the most expensive methods of generating electricity.

The price of electricity is the association's third concern. It has indicated that mining companies in Ontario need to have confidence in the price forecasting ability of Ontario Hydro and on the availability of competitively priced electricity.

Noting that rate increases have been double or triple the rate of inflation in recent years, the association warns that they could be in the double-digit range for the next several years.

The impact of such increases would be severe on mining companies such as Falconbridge Ltd. and Inco Ltd., according to the association.

The OMA indicates that Falconbridge had an $88-million electricity bill in 1991, and projected rate increases would increase that amount to $110.1 million in 1993.

Inco, meanwhile, paid Ontario Hydro more than $61 million in 1991. That amount is likely to exceed $73 million this year, according to the OMA.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Laurentian Business Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Apr 1, 1992
Words:364
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