OPG issues $300 million ‘green bond’ to help fund refurbishment of nuclear plant in Clarington


Published July 18, 2022 at 12:17 pm

While Ontario struggles to find clean energy replacements for the mothballed Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has issued a $300 million nuclear green bond, with the proceeds to help finance the refurbishment of the Darlington nuclear plant, one of the largest clean energy projects in Canadian history.

Once complete, this $12.8 billion project will enable production of clean, safe, low cost and emission free electricity from Darlington for an additional 30-plus years. Execution of Darlington Refurbishment recently passed the half-way point, on time and on budget.

The green bond is the first of its kind in Canada and OPG released an update to its green bond framework last week that now includes eligible nuclear projects, in recognition of the critical role the technology plays in fighting climate change and in achieving OPG’s own ambitious climate change goals.

“Our nuclear green bond offering is a first for OPG and builds on our past issuance of green bonds to finance renewable and clean power projects that produce electricity virtually free of carbon emissions,” said Aida Cipolla, CFO and Senior Vice President, Finance at OPG. “Nuclear power generation provides the foundation to enable us to eliminate carbon from the electricity grid. This issuance, supporting Darlington Refurbishment, helps secure the kind of low-cost, carbon-free power Ontarians need for decades to come.”

Despite the provincial government’s decision to shut down the Pickering plant as of 2024, OPG believes that nuclear generation is a critical element on the path to net zero and is working with partners along the way to achieve net zero economy by 2050.

OPG will update investors annually on the use of proceeds and developments with respect to OPG’s green bond program. The reports will include a list of major eligible projects to which green bond proceeds have been allocated, a brief description of the major eligible projects, amounts allocated and the remaining balance of unallocated proceeds.

This issuance brings OPG’s green bond program to a total of $2.8 billion including subsidiaries. The bonds were offered as part of OPG’s medium term notes series in each of the provinces of Canada, through a syndicate of agents co-led by BMO Capital Markets and CIBC World Markets as Lead Agents and Joint Bookrunners. It was well received by the market and was oversubscribed 5.8x.

More than 60 per cent of the province’s power is generated by nuclear energy and the two largest stations – Darlington and Bruce – are scheduled to operate for decades to come.

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