By Anthony Capkun
February 17, 2021 – Following an independent review of its subsidiary’s operations, Manitoba Hydro is reorganizing Manitoba Hydro International.
“The reorganization will further strengthen our governance, oversight and public accountability that Manitobans expect and deserve,” said Marina R. James, Manitoba Hydro board chair.
The review determined that MHI was operating in higher-risk international countries that exposed Manitoba customers to potential liabilities, including security risks for employees, and financial risks.
The review also found that Manitoba Hydro customers “effectively subsidized” MHI through its use of Manitoba Hydro assets.
“This timing of this decision made sense following our examination of the business realities, including the highly competitive nature of the industry and risks that come from operating the consulting business in international and developing markets,” said Jay Grewal, Manitoba Hydro president & CEO.
The subsidiary was established outside the purview of the Public Utilities Board, as it has been operating in a global competitive environment, but this “contributed to insufficient accountability and transparency”.
As part of this reorganization, MHI will continue to operate as a subsidiary of Manitoba Hydro. The lines of business that focus on technology solutions will continue to operate under the Manitoba Hydro International banner.
However, the consulting business of MHI—operating under Manitoba Hydro International Utility Services (MHIUS)—will be wound down as current contracts expire (though existing contracts with MHIUS customers will be honoured).
All permanent MHI staff will be offered employment at Manitoba Hydro.
“Today’s announcement brings an even greater focus to our core business while retaining access to—and continuing to market—the world-class made-in-Manitoba technology offered by MHI,” Grewal said, adding, “[…] we are learning from the past to move forward and become even stronger.”