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  • December 14, 2012


Gravelle & Mauro announce 3 year extension to NIER program

December 14, 2012 - Ontario is helping Northern Ontario’s largest industrial electricity consumers reduce their energy costs, sustain jobs and maintain global competitiveness.

Subject to annual program funding approvals, the province intends to extend a revised Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) program for three years – commencing 2013/14 – to support continued growth and development in northern resource and manufacturing sectors.

Under the proposed extension, eligible current participants in the NIER program (industrial companies in Northern Ontario) could continue to receive a rebate of two cents per kilowatt-hour to a maximum of the lesser of 2011-12 eligible consumption levels, or to a maximum of $20 million per company, per year — subject to revised program rules and entering amended program agreements.

The McGuinty government recognizes the unique needs of the North. NIER acknowledges the higher cost of doing business in Northern Ontario – including the regional availability of power, distances from market, harsher climate and the additional energy, maintenance, and operating costs associated with it.

Partnering with Northern Ontario businesses is part of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario's measures to address barriers to investment and strengthen Northern industry. A strong northern economy creates local jobs and protects the services that mean the most to families - health care and education.

“Our government is proud to provide support to the forest industry – one of Ontario’s economic drivers. I am certainly pleased that we have extended our commitment for the NIER program for another 3 years. There is no doubt that this program is essential to job creation and economic prosperity in Northern Ontario.”— The Hon. Michael Gravelle, Minister of Natural Resources and MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North

“The success of local resource sector companies means high-value jobs and continued investment in our community. This vital program addresses fundamental barriers to this investment, ensuring our economy remains strong and stable.”— Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay – Atikokan

“The extension of the NIER program is an important step forward. The Province of Ontario has recognized the importance of affordable electricity pricing and established programs resulting in an attractive environment for companies like Resolute to invest for the future. Over the past 18 months, Resolute has announced over $125 million in capital spending for our mills in Northern Ontario. We compete in a challenging marketplace and controlling rising energy costs is a critically important factor in achieving sustained profitability," - Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer, Resolute Forest Products

“Within the current fiscal climate, our government recognizes the unique needs of northern industry. The NIER program helps lower costs and increase energy efficiency for some of Northern Ontario’s major resource sector producers and employers – helping sustain good-paying jobs, helping reduce environmental impacts and boosting investment in our North. ”
— Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines

“For energy intensive industry, high energy prices are a serious barrier to investment. NIER helps keep Northern Ontario companies competitive with those in other jurisdictions; and thus, helps generate continued investment in our North.”— Chris Hodgson, President, Ontario Mining Association

Subject to annual appropriations being approved by the Ontario Legislature, the proposed extended program would offer $120 million per year over three years; for a total new investment of $360 million.
- NIER directly supports 24 facilities that employ almost 16,000 workers in mining and forestry.
- On average, industrial electricity prices can be reduced by up to 25 per cent through the program.
- Companies currently participating in the program include:

    • Hemlo, Williams Operating Company (Barrick Gold)
    • Resolute Forest Products, Thunder Bay & Fort Frances
    • Lac des Iles, North American Palladium
    • Weyerhaeuser, Kenora
    • Domtar, Dryden
    • Goldcorp, Pickle Lake and Balmerton
    • Ainsworth, Barwick


About the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program
About other forms of business support for northern businesses

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