ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 14, 2005) - BECOL, a subsidiary of Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS), announced yesterday that construction of the Chalillo Hydroelectric Project is substantially complete and electricity is now being generated at the 7.3-megawatt (MW) generating plant at the facility.
BECOL also owns and operates the 25-MW Mollejon hydroelectric facility, located on the Macal River, the only other hydroelectric generating facility in Belize.
"The start of electricity production at Chalillo represents a significant milestone for the country of Belize in meeting its growing energy demands," says Stan Marshall, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fortis Inc.
"Energy produced at the facility will provide the least cost electricity in Belize and will provide a number of significant, long-term benefits for customers of Belize Electricity and for the country. It will increase the reliability of electricity service and will help stabilize electricity prices due to reduced reliance on fossil fuels," explains Marshall.
The US$30 million Chalillo Hydroelectric Project is an upstream storage and hydroelectric generating facility which will increase average annual energy production from the Macal River by approximately 80 gigawatt hours (GWh) to 160 GWh.
"Since our initial investment in Belize in 1999, we have worked very closely with the Government of Belize to develop the country's energy sources," says Marshall. "We are very pleased that Chalillo is now operational. Fortis will continue to build on its reputation for operating its utility businesses in the most economically and environmentally responsible manner possible," concludes Marshall.
Fortis Inc. is a diversified electric utility holding company with assets exceeding $4.1 billion and annual revenues of $1.2 billion. It has holdings in 7 regulated utilities located in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Belize and the Cayman Islands. It has non-regulated generation operations in Newfoundland, Ontario, British Columbia, Upper New York State and Belize. Through its wholly owned non-utility subsidiary, Fortis Inc. has investments in real estate and hotel operations. For more information on Fortis Inc., please visit www.fortisinc.com.
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