No decisions made on Manitoba Hydro International

Manitoba Hydro responds to speculation on future of subsidiary

This article was published in September 2020 and may be outdated.

In light of ongoing media speculation regarding the future of Manitoba Hydro International (MHI), Manitoba Hydro today reiterated that no decisions have been taken regarding the future of its wholly owned subsidiary.

“While we did conduct an extensive review of MHI’s operations using an independent third party, no decisions have been made,” said Jay Grewal, President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro.

“We are still assessing that review to assess risk of potentially higher costs for Manitoba Hydro customers.”

MHI provides energy consulting and management services worldwide, as well as research and development and energy support services around the world and in Manitoba. The subsidiary has seen its revenue decline by 22 per cent since 2017, with profitability declining by 40 per cent over the same period. At the same time, the safety and security risks of operating in developing and emerging markets, where MHI conducts a lot of its operations, have increased significantly.

In addition, there is an increasing lack of alignment between MHI’s services and Manitoba Hydro’s core operations as an electrical and natural gas utility.

“These growing financial and fit concerns require us to consider how MHI fits into Manitoba Hydro’s mission going forward. While other Canadian utilities have chosen to divest themselves of their international divisions, we have not reached any conclusions and have not provided a recommendation to our Board of Directors,” Grewal said, noting that customers of MHI should not be concerned about their commitments going unfulfilled.

“Our core business is to supply Manitobans with reliable, renewable energy and clean burning natural gas at the lowest possible cost,” she said.

“If and when we make any decisions regarding Manitoba Hydro International, we will be sure to communicate that in an open and transparent manner to everyone concerned.

“This is about ensuring we operate in as an efficient manner as possible and are aware of all the risks involved in our various activities. Protecting our customers from potential risks that could impact the cost of their energy and our core business of keeping the gas flowing and the lights on is a critical part of doing that.”

Grewal also stated that Manitoba Hydro will be as transparent as possible with both employees and customers of MHI.

“I want to assure them that if any decision is made regarding the future of the subsidiary, they will be notified as soon as possible,” she said.

Finally, Grewal explained it’s important for people to not confuse the crown corporation’s review of its operations — a common business practice — with talk of privatizing Manitoba Hydro, as has been portrayed in some media coverage.

“As I have previously stated, Manitoba Hydro is owned by the people of Manitoba and will continue to be owned by the people of Manitoba. To be clear, Manitoba Hydro will not be privatized,” said Grewal.

For more information, please contact:

Scott Powell — Director, Corporate Communications
Cell. 204-299-8849