Gaz Métropolitain (1969-2003)|
Gaz Métro (2003-Nov. 29, 2017)
|Privately held company|
|Traded as||VNR (through Valener)|
|Industry||Natural gas and electricity provider|
|Headquarters||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Sophie Brochu (President and CEO)|
Number of employees
|1,490 employees (Septembre 30, 2017)|
|Subsidiaries||Gaz Métro Plus, Gaz Métro LNG, Gaz Métro Transport Solutions, Gaz Métro Energy Solutions, Standard Solar, Vermont Gas Systems, Green Mountain Power, Trans Québec & Maritimes Pipeline Inc, Champion Pipeline, Portland Natural Gas Transmission System, Intragaz, CCUM, Seigneurie de Beaupré Wind Farms|
With more than $7 billion in assets, Énergir, formerly known as Gaz Métro, is a diversified energy company with 520,000 customers. It is the largest natural gas distribution company in Quebec, and also produces, through its subsidiaries, electricity from wind power. In the United States, through its subsidiaries, the company operates in nearly fifteen states, where it produces electricity from hydraulic, wind and solar sources, in addition to being the leading electricity distributor and the sole natural gas distributor in Vermont.
The main natural gas distributor in Québec was created during the first nationalization of electricity in Québec, in 1944. By bringing Montreal Light, Heat and Power under state control, the new Quebec Hydroelectric Commission, better known as Hydro-Québec, not only took charge of the company's electricity assets, and also acquired a gas distribution network in Greater Montréal.
Near the end of the 1940s, industrialists began planning the construction of a pipeline that would connect Alberta and the large cities of Ontario. Hydro-Québec was approached to extend the pipeline toward Montréal. Several meetings were organized, and the Quebec Hydroelectric Commission ordered internal studies and sought expert advice. In March 1954, the commissioners formed a committee to make a decision. The committee recommended replacing industrial gas with natural gas from Western Canada, a conversion that would be of some benefit to the public utility. The Commission's President, L.-Eugène Potvin, instead recommended selling the gas sector to a private company. This solution was adopted and the Commission adopted a resolution to divest itself of all its gas assets, which was approved by the Duplessis government. Negotiations began with several groups and the sale of the network to the Quebec Natural Gas Corporation was concluded in the spring of 1957.
In 1969, the company was renamed Gaz Métropolitain. It's liquifaction planit inauguration was on October 7, 1969.
In 1985, the company acquired Gaz Inter-Cité Québec (which served eastern Québec) and Gaz Provincial du Nord (which served Abitibi-Témiscamingue). It became a subsidiary of Noverco.
In 1986, Gaz Métro acquired Vermont Gas Systems, which distributes all the natural gas in Vermont.
On January 1, 1997, almost 40 years after removing itself from the natural gas sector, Hydro-Québec returned to the sector by acquiring a 42% stake in Noverco, the holding company that controls Gaz Métro. As such, Hydro-Québec was once again under the control of André Caillé, who left the position of President and CEO three months later to become the head of the Québec state company. This move was part of Mr. Caillé's convergence strategy to transform Québec into an energy hub in the northeastern part of the North American continent.
In 2003, Gaz Metropolitain was abridged to Gaz Métro and accompanied by a new logo.
In 2010, Gaz Métro was restructured so that 71% of its capital was held by the private company Noverco, which was controlled by Trencap (61.11%) and Enbridge (38.9%), while 29% was owned by the new company Valener, listed on the TSX.
CVPS operations were merged with those of GMP in 2012–making GMP the largest electric utility in the state, providing electricity to over 75 percent of Vermont residents.
On November 29, 2017, Gaz Métro was renamed Énergir to reflect its wider energy portfolio.
Énergir is a privately held limited partnership. The largest owner (with 43% ownership) is Trencap, an investment company majority owned by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Valener, a public energy company, holds an economic interest of about 29% in Énergir (which is its principal asset), and Enbridge, a public pipeline company, owns the remaining 28%.
As at September 30, 2017, Énergir had more than $7 billion in assets.
Natural gas distribution
Énergir distributes approximately 97% of the gas consumed in Québec. Its underground network spans more than 10,000 km and serves more than 205,000 customers. Énergir's subsidiary Vermont Gas Systems is the sole gas distributor in the state of Vermont. It serves over 50,000 customers.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG)
Over the last few years, Gaz Métro has developed its liquefied natural gas (LNG) subsidiary for heavy and maritime transportation, and for serving industries in regions far from the natural gas network. LNG comes from Gaz Métro's liquefaction, storage and regasification (LSR) plant in Montréal East, in operation since 1969.
In 2014, the Québec government (through Investissement Québec) and Gaz Métro teamed up to teamed up to increase accessibility to liquefied natural gas, starting in 2017, by increasing the capacities of Énergir's natural gas liquefaction plant. The addition of a second liquefaction train will increase production from 3 billion to 9 billion cubic feet per year.
Compressed natural gas (CNG)
Compressed natural gas (CNG) has exactly the same properties as natural gas in its gaseous state. However, it can be stored at 300 times atmospheric pressure, which reduces the volume by an equal amount. Transported in high pressure tanks, it is mostly used for short-range daily trips.
Biomethane (renewable natural gas)
Biomethane is a renewable and carbon-neutral energy with the same properties as regular natural gas, and it is produced from organic material. Saint-Hyacinthe became the first municipality in Québec to produce energy through biomethanation, and several projects are now being developed elsewhere in the province of Quebec.
Green Mountain Power (GMP), a subsidiary of Énergir, is the largest electricity distributor in Vermont, serving over 70% of the market and near 265,000 customers. GMP's core business includes the distribution, transportation, generation, purchase and sale of electricity in Vermont and, to a lesser degree, electricity transportation in New Hampshire and electricity generation in the states of New York, Maine and Connecticut.
The GMP network comprises over 2,700 km of overhead transmission lines, 16,300 km of overhead distribution lines and 2,000 km of underground distribution lines, located mainly in Vermont but also extending to New Hampshire and New York.
Green Mountain Power generates a portion of the electricity it distributes but most of its supply is purchased from other producers. Its supply portfolio comprises several sources of power generation, including wind power, solar power and hydroelectricity. GMP also buys electricity produced with "cow power," a process that uses methane from the manure of dairy cattle to generate clean energy.
In March 2017, Énergir announced the acquisition, through one of its subsidiaries, of Standard Solar, Inc. a leading solar energy firm specializing in the development and installation of commercial solar electric systems in many states across the United States. Based in Rockville, Maryland, Standard Solar is a commercial, industrial and institutional solar developer, engineering, procurement and construction management, as well as operations and maintenance services provider operating in multiple states in the United States.
The Seigneurie de Beaupré Wind Farms are an equal-share joint venture of Boralex and Beaupré Éole, which is, in turn, 51%-owned by Gaz Métro and 49%-owned by Valener. The core business of this joint venture consists in owning and operating these wind farms. The first phase includes two wind farms with an installed capacity of 272 megawatts. These wind farms were put into commercial service in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. The second phase has an installed capacity of 68 megawatts and was put into commercial service on December 1, 2014.
All of the electricity generated is sold to Hydro-Québec under a 20-year contract.
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