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OPG issues $300m green bond for Darlington plant

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) issued it’s first $300 million nuclear green bond. Net proceeds from the issue will be used to finance Darlington Refurbishment, one of Canada’s largest clean energy projects.

Once complete, the $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, said an OPG statement.

“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. “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.”

Earlier last week, OPG released an update to its green bond framework 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.

OPG said it 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 despite recent historical Bank of Canada rate hike of 100bps and was oversubscribed 5.8x.

Quick Facts

  • CICERO Shades of Green, a leading provider of independent, research-based evaluations of green bond and sustainability financing frameworks, completed a second-party opinion on OPG’s green bond framework with a CICERO Medium Green shading and a governance score of Good.
  • OPG’s Climate Change Plan commits to OPG being a net zero company by 2040 and acting as a catalyst to help achieve efficient economy-wide decarbonisation by 2050.
  • Nuclear is a key driver of carbon reduction around the world. Ontario continues to invest in nuclear power as a key component of the province’s climate goals. 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.
  • In 2020, OPG became the first company in the Canadian power and utilities sector to incorporate sustainability targets into its corporate financing needs.
  • Read more in OPG’s 2021 Green Bond Impact Report.

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