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EMERA INC. THE MAJORITY shareholder in the corporation which owns the Barbados Light & Power Company (BL&P), is expanding its presence in the United States (US).
It is achieving that goal by acquiring a large energy company in Tampa, Florida for the equivalent of US$6.5 billion.
Emera, a Canadian company with headquarters in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is acquiring TECO Energy Inc., and while the full implications of the deal on the Barbados electricity generating company aren’t known, energy analysts were quick to say that the acquisition may accelerate the pace at which Emera shifts from fossil fuels to renewable energy, especially in the US and in the Caribbean.
The deal is expected to be consummated by the middle of next year, once federal regulators in the US approve it. TECO’s board of directors has already approved it. When it is completed, the acquisition will result in Emera’s assets rising to US$20 billion and its North American customer base would skyrocket to 2.4 million.
“TECO Energy’s operations are located in vibrant markets [in the US] experiencing job growth and a strong housing market that are expected to contribute to some of the strongest customer growth in the US,” Emera stated.
“The beauty of this [deal] is that the company [TECO] is very similar to us today,” said Chris Huskilson, Emera’s chief executive officer.
Emera is the majority owner of Emera (Caribbean) Inc., the parent company of BL&P.
Emera Caribbean is also the majority shareholder in Dominica Electricity Services Limited and is an investor in St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited.
“Together these utilities generate and deliver electricity to more than 227 000 residential, commercial and industrial customers,” explained Emera, which is also the majority owner of Grand Bahama Power Company in The Bahamas. It serves almost 20 000 customers there. (TB)