Canadian Board Trims OPG Budget Request

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) must cut $500 million from its $16.8 billion budget request for nuclear operations submitted to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) in May 2016, the utility regulator said Friday. The agency took exception to expenditures that include pensions, benefits and maintenance.

Darlington NPPOPG must trim $150 million from its budget from compensation and an additional $350 million from “corporate costs and its administration, operations and maintenance budget,” The Canadian Press reported.

The regulatory board called the pension and benefits allocations “clearly excessive.”

“There is voluminous evidence demonstrating that the costs of these programs are well above market,” the OEB said in their report.

The regulator called the pension plan and supplemental pension plan offered by the company “generous,” noting that pensions cost OPG “hundreds of millions of dollars per year” and included a high ratio of company contributions. The standard contribution is one-to-one company to employee contribution. OPG's contribution , according to a 2013 Ontario Auditor General report, was greater than four-to-one that year, although the ratio has since diminished to two-to-one.

The budget request related to a major refurbishment program at the Darlington Nuclear Station – a $4.8 billion program --- was approved. An additional $292 million in fees was granted to the Pickering Nuclear Station to allow the plant to operate through 2020, the Press said.

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