December 2, 2013 - Press releases
Québec City, December 2, 2013 – Énergir and the Union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ) are pleased to announce the conclusion of a historic framework agreement on coordinated management of public spaces for urban infrastructure networks. The agreement sets out the conditions for dealings between owners of infrastructures in the public domain, more specifically, maintenance, repair, installation and operation of the gas network. In this regard, it provides for equitably sharing the costs associated with the management of Gaz Métro's underground infrastructures on municipal territory. The agreement was announced today at the kickoff of the three-day Congrès Infra 2013 organized by the Centre for Expertise and Research on Infrastructures in Urban Areas (CERIU).
This partnership will provide Énergir and Québec's municipalities with a predictable, uniform and coherent framework for their dealings. It also provides the latter with compensation when Gaz Métro performs work on their territories.
The agreement comes after two years of talks between Énergir and the UMQ aimed at finding concrete and mutually acceptable solutions to resolve issues regarding the installation, operation, maintenance and repair of natural gas distribution networks in municipal rights-of-way. This is the first ever urban infrastructure agreement between a public utility and the UMQ, which represents hundreds of Québec municipalities.
Under the five-year agreement, Énergir will pay any municipality that adheres to the framework agreement, 2% of the value of any installation or improvement work it performs on the municipality's territory.
The agreement also stipulates that if Énergir's distribution network must be relocated due to municipal work, the cost of the relocation will be shared and factor in asset depreciation.
“Énergir is pleased with this agreement, which provides a consensual framework. We've been actively involved in municipal development since 1957 and we firmly believe that this agreement will allow us to operate more efficiently as well as improve our relationship with Québec's municipalities,” said Martin Imbleau, Vice-President, Development and Renewable Energies, at Gaz Métro.
With more than $5 billion in assets, Énergir is a leading energy provider. It is the largest natural gas distribution company in Quebec, where its network of over 10,000 km of underground pipelines serves 300 municipalities and more than 190,000 customers. Gaz Métro is also present in Vermont, producing electricity and distributing electricity and natural gas to meet the needs of more than 305,000 customers. Gaz Métro is actively involved in the development of innovative, promising energy projects such as the production of wind power, the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel and the development of biomethane. Gaz Métro is a major energy sector player who takes the lead in responding to the needs of its customers, regions and municipalities, local organizations, and communities while also satisfying the expectations of its Partners (GMi and Valener) and employees.
About the UMQSince its founding in 1919, the UMQ has represented municipalities of every size and in every region of Quebec. The UMQ mission is to promote the fundamental role of municipalities in social and economic progress in every part of Quebec and to support its members in building dynamic, innovative and competitive communities. The UMQ affinity caucus structure, comprising local communities, regional county municipalities, census agglomerations, large cities and metropolitan communities reflects the diversity and unity of municipal life in Quebec. Its over six million members represent 80% of Québec's territory.