Pickering costs under scrutiny

3 July 2003

A team selected by the Ontario government will help investigate the cost overruns and delays in returning Pickering A to service.

Jake Epp, energy minister for Canada in 1984-1993, will lead the investigation. He will be assisted by Robin Jeffrey, former chief executive of BE who helped put together the deal that first created Bruce Power, and Peter Barnes, a former senior public servant in Ontario and now chairman of Toronto's George Brown College.

The team has been asked to produce an interim report in the autumn, and a final report by the end of December 2003.

The Pickering A project is now more than two years behind schedule. It was originally estimated that the cost would be C$1.3 billion, but by the end of 2002 C$1.2 billion had been spent and none of the four units had restarted. The first unit has fallen further behind schedule and is expected to miss its most recent 30 June deadline for reconnection to the grid. It is now expected to start supplying electricity to the grid in July, and reach full output in August.

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