Soon after it was first established in 1944, Hydro–Québec needed to significantly develop its generating capability to meet growing electricity demand. It embarked on an extensive building phase and reached agreements to acquire independent power distributors.

Its new hydropower projects of the 1950s and 1960s all required major financing.

In the early 1970s, when construction in the Baie‑James region got under way, Hydro–Québec’s name was already well established on the leading financial markets . Funds markets in the Middle East , private markets in Japan and the Netherlands , the British public market and the ECU (European Currency Unit) section of the European markets then joined the list of buyers of Hydro–Québec securities.

From 1979 to 1981, Hydro–Québec was the fourth-largest borrower on the U.S. public bond market. The company’s borrowing program reached a high point in 1991, with requirements totalling $5.9 billion.

Key achievements and major debt issuance*

1944-1969

1944

Creation of the Québec Hydro‑Electric Commission, in short, Hydro‑Québec.

Commissioning of Les Cèdres (1924; 103 MW), Shawinigan‑2 (1929; 200 MW), La Gabelle (1931; 131 MW) and Chelsea (1939; 152 MW) generating stations.

1944
1947
Commissioning of Rapides‑Farmer (104 MW) generating station.
1947
First major issue by Hydro‑Québec: $112.5 million at 2% interest, underwritten by Canadian banks to finance electricity nationalization in 1944.
1949
Commissioning of Shawinigan‑3 (194 MW) generating station.
1949
1953
1953
First bond issue by Hydro‑Québec in the U.S. for an amount of US$50 million.
1955
Commissioning of Trenche (302 MW), La Tuque (294 MW), Rapide‑Blanc (204 MW), and Rapides‑des‑Quinze (103 MW) generating stations.
1955
1956
Commissioning of Paugan (213 MW) generating station.
1956
1959

Commissioning of Bersimis‑1 (1,178 MW) generating station.

Commissioning of Beaumont (270 MW) generating station.

1959
1960
Commissioning of Bersimis‑2 (869‑MW) generating station.
1960
1961
Commissioning of Beauharnois (1,906 MW) generating station, built in three phases starting in 1929.
1961
1963
Second phase of nationalization: Hydro‑Québec acquires most of the private electricity distributors, and subsequently, 45 of the 46 electricity cooperatives and many municipal distribution systems.
1963
US$300-million bond issue on the American market which proceeds are used to redeem shareholders of the acquired companies.
1964
Commissioning of Carillon (753 MW) generating station.
1964
1965

Commissioning of the first 735‑kV transmission line in the world, a technology developed by Hydro‑Québec.

Commissioning of McCormick (235 MW) generating station.

1965
1966
1966
First issue of short‑term notes by Hydro‑Québec in the U.S.
1967

Founding of Hydro‑Québec’s Institut de recherche en électricité (IREQ), a world-class research centre.

Commissioning of Jean-Lesage (Manic‑2, 1,145 MW) and Manic‑1 (184 MW) generating stations.

1967
1968
Completion of Tracy oil‑fired generating station, a legacy from Shawinigan Water and Power Company.
1968
1969
Signature of an agreement with Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corporation [CF(L)Co]; Hydro‑Québec gained access to almost all the output from Churchill Falls generating station (5,428 MW) until 2041. Commissioning of Outardes‑3 (1,026 MW) and Outardes‑4 (785 MW) generating stations.
1969

First issue in U.S. dollars on the European market for an amount of US$20 million. US$500-million issue to finance Churchill Falls generating station.

First bond issue in German marks for an amount of 150 million.

1970-1995

1971

Launch of the La Grande Complex at James Bay, the most imposing hydroelectric facility in the world at the time.

Commissioning of Manic‑5 (1,596 MW) generating station.

Hydro‑Québec’s equity crosses the C$1,0 billion mark.

1971
1972
1972
First bond issue in Swiss francs for an amount of 80 million.
1973
Commissioning of Rapide des‑Îles (176 MW) generating station.
1973
1975
Signature of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement, the first step of a partnership with the Québec Crees.

Commissioning of Première‑Chute (131 MW) generating station.
1975
First issue in Canadian Eurodollars for an amount of $50 million.
1976
Commissioning of René‑Lévesque (Manic‑3, 1,244 MW) generating station.
1976
Private offering of US$1 billion on the American market, a record amount at the time ; Hydro‑Québec issues yearly on that market from 1963 to 1976.
1977
1977
Issue of 20 billion in Japanese Yens ; interest rates in Japan are noticeably lower than those in effect in Canada and the U.S.
1978
Commissioning of Outardes‑2 (523 MW) generating station.

Creation of Hydro‑Québec International (HQI) with a mandate to market Hydro‑Québec’s expertise internationally.

Commissioning of a 765-kV interconnection linking Hydro‑Québec’s power grid with the Power Authority of the State of New York (PASNY); the two parties reached a mutual aid agreement.
1978
Use of a new type of financing with the signing of its first credit facility for an amount of US$1,250 million, including a US$750-million swing loan.
1981
Commissioning of Robert‑Bourassa (La Grande‑2, 5,616 MW) generating station.
1981
First bond issue in pounds sterling for an amount of 40 million. Since 1979, Hydro‑Québec is the fourth largest borrower on the U.S. public bond market.
1983
Commissioning of Gentilly‑2 (675 MW) generating station, Hydro‑Québec’s only nuclear power plant in its generation fleet.
1983
1984
Commissioning of La Grande‑3 (2,417 MW) generating station.
1984
1986
Commissioning of La Grande‑4 (2,779 MW) generating station.
1986
First perpetual debt issue: $550 million at variable rate on the Eurodollar market.
1987
Inauguration of Hydro‑Québec’s Laboratoire des technologies (LTE) which mission is to support the development of industrial applications for electricity.

Signature of a firm long-term power and energy sale contract with the Vermont Joint Owners (VJO), spanning from 1990 to 2020.
1987
1990
Commissioning of Manic‑5‑PA (1,064 MW) generating station.
1990
1991
1991
The company’s borrowing program reaches a high point: C$5.9 billion.

Launch of Hydro‑Québec’s first two global issues for an amount of $1.1 billion each.
1992
Commissioning of La‑Grande‑2‑A (2,106 MW) generating station.
1992
1993
Commissioning of Brisay (469 MW) generating station.
1993
US$1.5‑billion issue on the American market, a record amount at the time.
1994
Commissioning of Laforge‑1 (878 MW) generating station.
1994
1995
Commissioning of La Grande‑1 (1,436 MW) generating station.
1995

1996 - to date

1996
Creation of the Régie de l’énergie du Québec (Energy board), the agency responsible for regulatory supervision of transmission and distribution of electric power.

Commissioning of Laforge‑2 (319 MW), the eighth and last generating station of the La Grande Complex in James Bay.
1996
1997
Opening of the North American wholesale electricity market.

Creation of Hydro‑Québec TransÉnergie (HQT), to provide non‑discriminatory and reliable access to Québec’s transmission grid.
1997
Issue in French francs convertible in Euro, a first by a non-European issuer to explicitly provide for conversion in Euro.
2000
Hydro‑Québec’s net income topped the C$1 billion mark.
2000
2001
Two new divisions, Hydro‑Québec Production (HQP) and Hydro‑Québec Distribution (HQD) are added to HQT created in 1997.
2001
US$750‑million bond issue on the global market.
2002
Creation of Hydro‑Québec Équipement (HQÉ).

Signature of the « Peace Among Braves » agreement between the Québec government and the Grand Council of the Crees.
2002
From 2002 to 2010, Hydro‑Québec relied mostly on the Canadian market, which offers the most attractive financing costs.
2003
Hydro‑Québec Distribution’s first call for tenders for the supply of 1,000 MW of wind power.
2003
2004
Commissioning of Sainte‑Marguerite‑3 (882 MW) and Rocher‑de‑Grand‑Mère (230 MW) generating stations.

Hydro‑Québec’s net income broke the C$2 billion mark.
2004
2005
Commissioning of Toulnustouc (526 MW) generating stations.

HQD’s second call for tenders for the supply of 2,000 MW of wind power.
2005
2006
Commissioning of Eastmain‑1 (507 MW) powerhouse.

Sale of nearly all the company’s international assets.
2006
2007
Start of construction of the Eastmain‑1‑A/Sarcelle/Rupert project in James Bay (918 MW).

Commissioning of Mercier (50 MW) generating station.
2007
2008
Commissioning of Péribonka (405 MW) generating station.

Hydro‑Québec posts net income of C$ 3,141 million, the highest income on record for the company.
2008
2009
Start of construction at the Romaine Complex on the North Shore.

HQD’s third call for tenders for the supply of 500 MW of wind power.

Commissioning of a 1,250 MW interconnection between Québec and Ontario.
2009
2010
Signature of a power purchase agreement with Vermont for 225 MW of power, starting in 2012 and continuing through 2038.
2010
2011
2011
US$1.0 billion‑bond issue on the global market, a first since 2001.
2012
Commissioning of Eastmain‑1‑A (768 MW) powerhouse.

Creation of the regional government of Eeyou Istchee James Bay led by a joint council represented by Cree and James Bay residents in equal number.

Shutdown of Gentilly-2 generating station (1983-2012; 675 MW), Québec’s sole operating nuclear plant.
2012
US$1.0 billion‑bond issue on the global market.
2013

Commissioning of the Sarcelle powerhouse (150 MW), the last component of the Eastmain-1-A/Sarcelle/Rupert project (918 MW).

Rehabilitation of the first unit at Robert-Bourassa, the most powerful facility in Hydro-Québec's generating fleet. The project involves the rehabilitation of 8 of the generating station's 16 generating units—including the replacement of their runners—and the replacement of electrical and mechanical equipment on all 16 units. This will lead to an energy performance increase of more than 2%.

2013
Two debenture issues of $500 million each maturing in 2050, which brings the total nominal value of this series to a record high of C$ 7.0 billion.
2014

Commissioning of both units at Romaine-2 generating station (640 MW).

Net result of $3,380 million, exceeding the $3-billion mark.

2014
Issue of a new series of bonds (Series JQ) with a value of $500 million, maturing in 2055.
2015

Commissioning of both units at Romaine-1 hydroelectric generating station (270 MW). The entire development was completed eight months ahead of schedule.

Net income of $3,147 million, exceeding the $3-billion mark for a second consecutive year.

2015
No public financing activities in 2015: the depreciation of the Canadian dollar led to net cash receipts of $1.8 billion under credit risk mitigation agreements.
2016

Launch of Hydro-Québec’s Strategic Plan 2016–2020, which places customers at the heart of its priorities and sets new growth avenues for the company, including the acquisition of assets or stakes outside Québec.

Net electricity exports reached a historic high of 32.6 TWh, contributing $803 million to net income.

2016
Issuance of $1.0 billion in fixed-rate medium-term notes at a cost of 1.1%, as well as variable-rate notes for a total amount of $1.0 billion. Both series will mature in 2019.

* The major debt issues described in this section do not represent the totality of Hydro-Québec's borrowings.

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