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Hydro-Quebec aims for profit

Increased power sales on the US spot market, is expected to give Hydro-Quebec, a Canadian provincially owned utility, a record US$0.66B profit in 2000. Hydro-Quebec said it generated a consolidated net income of US$75M in its third quarter, compared to US$23M in the same period last year. Revenues climbed to US$1.90B from US$1.38B.

However, Hydro-Quebec plans to reduce US power deliveries starting from 1 January 2001, due to load growth in Canada and colder winter weather. On 1 January, Hydro-Quebec said it will start reducing long term power deliveries to New England until those deliveries decline to zero by 1 September 2001. But sales of long term power deliveries to New York will not be reduced.

Electricity traders said it was common practice for Hydro-Quebec to sell power to the northeast US during the day when US loads and prices are highest, and buy power from the US at night when US loads and prices are lowest, to conserve water in its Hudson Bay reservoirs. On an average day, Hydro-Quebec, with more than 31,400MW of mostly hydro power generating capacity, sells about 1500MW to New England and 1200MW to New York.