The financial impact of the pandemic is precisely at Hydro-Québec

L'impact financier de la pandémie se précise chez Hydro-Québec

Photo: Paul Chiasson Archives The canadian Press
“We will have a better idea [of the financial position of Hydro-Québec] in the course of the next months or the next two months,” said Sophie Brochu Monday.

The uncertain evolution of the economic recovery makes it difficult to see precisely what that Hydro-Québec may pay as a dividend for the year 2020, but its new p.-d. g., Sophie Brochu, already evokes an impact of “hundreds of millions” on the annual profit of the corporation.

A month after the electricity producer said the net income expected $ 2.9 billion is not likely to be attainable, Ms. Brochu, in office since the start of the month of April, listed a number of factors that will have the effect of compressing the earnings of Hydro-Québec and warned that it will have to wait a month or two to establish a scenario that is more clear. The corporation pays 75 % of its net profit to the government.

“It hits. As we say at home, it’s buttock hard. On a year like 2020, we can think of a few hundreds of millions of dollars of impact on the profit. Until June, we already had $ 130 million of revenues under just in Quebec, ” said Ms. Brochu at a conference organized by the Chamber of commerce of metropolitan Montreal. “The law of gravity, we can’t fight against it. What we can do, must do is manage our operating expenses, and operating at best. And we must care for our world, that is to say, our employees and our customers, ” she said, referring to relief measures for customers in difficult financial situation.

Already, in the first quarter, net income was down compared to last year because the winter of 2020 has been most gracious, which is reflected in the heating bills lower. The export prices were slightly lower also. As to the pandemic, Hydro-Quebec has indicated last month that it has caused an increase in residential consumption 3% between the 13 march and the middle of the month of may, but a slump of 8 to 11 % in the various niches of businesses.

Invited to move into the details at a press conference subsequent, Ms. Brochu, who has left the direction of Énergir to the end of 2019, said that ” people can do well 56 scenarios on where it will land “, but that the task is difficult. “When I say a few hundreds of millions of dollars, I’m not talking about a billion. It is not that I want to hide anything, it is that one has no idea of the pace at which québec’s economy will resume. We will have a better idea in the next month or next two months. “

Upon entry into position, Ms. Brochu has argued, the idea to put Hydro-Québec’s contribution in the revival of the economy, the mere fact that the State company is a major player in a key industry. Hydro-Québec will take ” small risks “, she said. “There are initiatives that we will be able to maybe deploy a little more quickly than we would have deployed differently. When we are going to talk about charging stations, electrification of transport, what I call the frame on which will sit the various initiatives, we are going to want to make sure that there is no delay compared to the control. “

Governments will invest specifically in projects of energy transition at the end of the crisis, and Hydro-Québec will have to be ready to “welcome to new charges,” said Ms. Brochu. “For example, the repair of the power stations on the island of Montreal, this is an example. The deployment of charging stations, this is an example. Some of the initiatives in the field of research and commercial deployment, can also be another example. “His projects on self-sustaining networks will be accelerated, by the way.

The presence of women and diversity

Among the actions taken by Ms. Brochu is the appointment of two women to the leadership table, one of which is responsible for technologies (Johanne Duhaime) while the other (Claudine Bouchard) is in charge of the company’s development and strategic procurement. The senior management thus enters into a “box joint” not yet equal, she said. It also seeks ” to add people that have seen other forms of energy “.

“It still remains that my table of the committee of management is still white, very white, and there is no doubt that it will be necessary to remedy this situation,” said Ms. Brochu. According to Hydro-Québec, the number of employees from visible minorities, and ethnic-has increased by 50 % from 2015 to 2019, and reached 8.2% of all staff (15.7% in the metropolitan area). “It is a ratio that we are going to evolve. This is not because it is in the air time, but because it is intelligent. “The target is 19 %, said the organization on Twitter this afternoon.

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