Bangor Hydro-Electric has announced to employees the first phase of its planned restructuring. The restructuring is part of the Company’s efforts to develop a long-term strategy.BANGOR, Maine 2002-04-01 [SolarAccess.com] “We are re-focusing the company around its core strengths in the areas of transmission and distribution and we are committed to maintaining and improving services for customers,” said Carroll Lee, President and COO of Bangor Hydro. “We are working with employees to minimize the restructuring’s impact, where possible, by exploring options with other subsidiaries, and by using early retirement and severance packages.” Key to the restructuring is the formation of two streamlined business units: T&D Asset Management and Business Services. T&D Asset Management is focused on all aspects of transmission and distribution planning, engineering and operations, including construction and maintenance. Business Services provides all of the support services for the company, including customer services, financial services, information technology and human resources. The restructuring also includes a new focus on Bangor Line Company, a non-regulated subsidiary of Bangor Hydro. Bangor Line will become a transmission and distribution services firm available to provide design, engineering, outside electrical and line work and meter reading for Bangor Hydro-Electric and other companies. Bangor Line offers a way to provide flexibility for the regulated Bangor Hydro to adapt quickly to changes in its business environment and reduces the negative impact of employee job loss by creating more than fifty jobs. “It is expected that Bangor Line will become an active and successful business by offering competitively priced T&D services, delivered by highly skilled professionals,” said Mr. Lee. “Some employees who currently work for Bangor Hydro will have an opportunity to bring their skills and expertise to this company.” As part of the restructuring, an Early Retirement Plan was offered this week to 71 of Bangor Hydro’s 425 employees. Further details of the restructuring are still being developed and will be communicated with employees as plans are finalized. In February Bangor Hydro and Emera Executives met with the Maine Public Utilities Commission to begin discussions toward an Alternate Rate Plan (ARP) that would see Bangor Hydro freeze its distribution rates for six years, effective January, 2002. The resulting revenue shortfall of about US$6.4 million annually necessitates a reduction in operating costs of about 20 percent, requiring this significant restructuring within the company.