Ontario, Samsung in green energy deal: reports

Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:44am EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Ontario, Canada's most populous province and the country's industrial heartland, is set to award a multibillion dollar deal to consortium led by Samsung Group to build renewable energy equipment such as wind turbines, media reports said on Wednesday.

The deal, which could be worth up to C$7 billion ($6.7 billion), will be unveiled on Thursday, according to the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail newspapers.

The Star said Samsung will also develop 600 megawatts of wind and solar farms in Ontario, which the provincial government believes will help meet its target of 50,000 new jobs created over three years through its Green Energy Act.

The province confirmed in September that it was in talks with Samsung. The government later said it hoped the Samsung deal would generate more than 15,000 jobs.

The plan is not without its detractors, the Star said. Some ministers within the Ontario government are said to be opposed to giving control of a major part of the province's energy sector to a company from South Korea and said that Samsung was given special treatment.

Other critics said that electricity ratepayers would have to foot the bill for what is effectively a subsidy for the Samsung, because the government has guaranteed to pay above-market prices for green power, the paper said.

($1=$1.05 Canadian)

(Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson)

<p>Visitors walk behind a logo of Samsung Electronics on a glass door at its headquarters in Seoul January 7, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak</p>