Established presence on capital markets
- Significant borrower in most of the major fixed income markets.
- Liquid benchmarks, such as series maturing in 2050, 2055 and 2060.
- Active player in the commercial paper market.
- Funds gathered allow Hydro-Québec to finance its development and ensure the long-term operability of its assets.
Quality credit, guaranteed by the Québec government
As at December 31, 2021, long-term debt totaled $49.7 billion, including current portion and perpetual debt.
Of that amount, $47.8 billion are debentures and medium-term notes that are guaranteed unconditionally by the Québec government. After taking into account short-term borrowings and sinking funds, the guaranteed amount is $47.1 billion. Commercial paper and standby lines of credit are also guaranteed by the Québec government.
Debts other than bonds and medium-term notes totaling a discounted amount of $1,802 million are not guaranteed by the Québec government.
The Hydro‑Québec debt guaranteed by the Québec government excludes its subsidiaries and joint ventures.
|Rating agencies||Long-term debt||Commercial paper||Outlook/Trend|
|S&P Global Ratings||AA-||A-1+||N/A*|
|DBRS Morningstar||AA (low)||R-1 (middle)||Stable|
* S&P Global Ratings does not provide an outlook for Hydro-Québec’s credit rating.
Hydro-Québec has a sustainability vision that goes well beyond the environment. The Company strives to have stakeholders participate in its decisions. It is also determined to contribute to Québec’s economic vitality.
- Supplying clean, renewable energy to help ensure quality of life.
- Meeting people’s electricity needs in a sustainable way.
- Using resources wisely and preserving the quality of the environment for future generations.
Soon after it was first established in 1944, Hydro–Québec significantly developed its generating capability to meet growing electricity demand. It embarked on an extensive building phase and reached agreements to acquire independent power distributors.
In the early 1970s, when construction in the Baie‑James region is under way, Hydro–Québec’s name is well established on the leading financial markets.
From 1979 to 1981, Hydro–Québec is the fourth-largest borrower on the U.S. public bond market. The company’s borrowing program reaches a high point in 1991, with requirements totalling $5.9 billion.
1996 – to this day
Despite the public health crisis, net electricity exports exceeded the 30-TWh mark for a fifth consecutive year, reaching 31.3 TWh and contributing $537 million to net income.
Issue of a new series of bonds (Series JR) with a value of $500 million, maturing in 2060.
Net electricity exports reached 33.7 TWh and contributed $631 million to net income.
For a seventh consecutive year, Hydro-Québec’s contribution to the Québec government’s revenue exceeded $4 billion.
The company made five fixed-rate bond issues maturing in 2055 on the Canadian capital market, at an average cost of 2.58%. These issues raised $3.3 billion.
Net electricity exports reached 36.1 TWh and contributed $744 million to net income.
For a sixth consecutive year, Hydro‑Québec’s contribution to the Québec government’s revenue exceeded $4 billion.
The company made three bond issues maturing in 2055 on the Canadian capital market, at an average cost of 3.06%. These issues raised $1.8 billion.
Net electricity exports reached a historic volume of 34.4 TWh and contributed $780 million to net income.
At the Romaine hydroelectric complex, Hydro‑Québec commissioned the two units at Romaine‑3 generating station (395 MW).
The company made two bond issues maturing in 2055 on the Canadian capital market, at an average cost of 3.20%. These issues raised $1.2 billion.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Commissioning of both units at Romaine‑2 generating station (640 MW).
result of $3,380 million, exceeding the $3‑billion mark.
Issue of a new series of bonds (Series JQ) with a value of $500 million, maturing in 2055.
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%.
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.
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.
US$1.0 billion‑bond issue on the global market.
US$1.0 billion‑bond issue on the global market, a first since 2001.
Signature of a power purchase agreement with Vermont for 225 MW of power, starting in 2012 and continuing through 2038.
Start of construction at the Romaine Complex on the North Shore.
HQD’s third call for tenders for the supply of 500 MW of wind power.
Commissioning of a 1,250 MW interconnection between Québec and Ontario.
Commissioning of Péribonka (405 MW) generating station.
Hydro‑Québec posts net income of C$ 3,141 million, the highest income on record for the company.
Start of construction of the Eastmain‑1‑A/Sarcelle/Rupert project in James Bay (918 MW).
Commissioning of Mercier (50 MW) generating station.
Commissioning of Eastmain‑1 (507 MW) powerhouse.
Sale of nearly all the company’s international assets.
Commissioning of Toulnustouc (526 MW) generating stations.
HQD’s second call for tenders for the supply of 2,000 MW of wind power.
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.
Hydro‑Québec Distribution’s first call for tenders for the supply of 1,000 MW of wind power.
Creation of Hydro‑Québec Équipement (HQÉ).
Signature of the « Peace Among Braves » agreement between the Québec government and the Grand Council of the Crees.
From 2002 to 2010, Hydro‑Québec relied mostly on the Canadian market, which offers the most attractive financing costs.
Two new divisions, Hydro‑Québec Production (HQP) and Hydro‑Québec Distribution (HQD) are added to HQT created in 1997.
US$750‑million bond issue on the global market.
Hydro‑Québec’s net income topped the C$1 billion mark.
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.
Issue in French francs convertible in Euro, a first by a non-European issuer to explicitly provide for conversion in Euro.
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.
1970 – 1995
Commissioning of La Grande‑1 (1,436 MW) generating station.
Commissioning of Laforge‑1 (878 MW) generating station.
Commissioning of Brisay (469 MW) generating station.
US$1.5‑billion issue on the American market, a record amount at the time.
Commissioning of La‑Grande‑2‑A (2,106 MW) generating station.
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.
Commissioning of Manic‑5‑PA (1,064 MW) generating station.
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.
Commissioning of La Grande‑4 (2,779 MW) generating station.
First perpetual debt issue: $550 million at variable rate on the Eurodollar market.
Commissioning of La Grande‑3 (2,417 MW) generating station.
Commissioning of Gentilly‑2 (675 MW) generating station, Hydro‑Québec’s only nuclear power plant in its generation fleet.
Commissioning of Robert‑Bourassa (La Grande‑2, 5,616 MW) generating station.
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.
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.
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.
Issue of 20 billion in Japanese Yens ; interest rates in Japan are noticeably lower than those in effect in Canada and the U.S.
Commissioning of René‑Lévesque (Manic‑3, 1,244 MW) generating station.
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.
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.
First issue in Canadian Eurodollars for an amount of $50 million.
Commissioning of Rapide des‑Îles (176 MW) generating station.
First bond issue in Swiss francs for an amount of 80 million.
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.
1944 – 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.
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.
Completion of Tracy oil‑fired generating station, a legacy from Shawinigan Water and Power Company.
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.
First issue of short‑term notes by Hydro‑Québec in the U.S.
Commissioning of the first 735‑kV transmission line in the world, a technology developed by Hydro‑Québec.
Commissioning of McCormick (235 MW) generating station.
Commissioning of Carillon (753 MW) generating station.
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.
US$300‑million bond issue on the American market which proceeds are used to redeem shareholders of the acquired companies.
Commissioning of Beauharnois (1,906 MW) generating station, built in three phases starting in 1929.
Commissioning of Bersimis‑2 (869‑MW) generating station.
Commissioning of Bersimis‑1 (1,178 MW) generating station.
Commissioning of Beaumont (270 MW) generating station.
Commissioning of Paugan (213 MW) generating station.
Commissioning of Trenche (302 MW), La Tuque (294 MW), Rapide‑Blanc (204 MW), and Rapides‑des‑Quinze (103 MW) generating stations.
First bond issue by Hydro‑Québec in the U.S. for an amount of US$50 million.
Commissioning of Shawinigan‑3 (194 MW) generating station.
Commissioning of Rapides‑Farmer (104 MW) generating station.
First major issue by Hydro‑Québec: $112.5 million at 2% interest, underwritten by Canadian banks to finance electricity nationalization in 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.
- As at December 31, 2021.
- The major debt issues described in this section do not represent the totality of Hydro-Québec's borrowings.
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