06/13/2012 08:20 EDT | Updated 08/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Higher electricity costs threaten Cape Breton seafood company

SYDNEY, N.S. - A spokesman for a company that operates four seafood processing plants in Cape Breton says rising electricity rates could put Louisbourg Seafoods Ltd. out of business.

Peter McCarron made the bleak prediction Wednesday during a breakfast meeting in Sydney with Rob Bennett, CEO of the privately owned utility Nova Scotia Power Inc.

McCarron was commenting on Nova Scotia Power's request for a three per cent rate increase in 2013 and 2014.

Bennett has said the increases are needed because some of the utility's largest customers are using less energy while the utility is paying higher costs associated with meeting green energy targets.

McCarron says the international seafood business is so competitive that the Nova Scotia company can't afford to pass along higher energy costs to its customers.

Bennett told McCarron that power rates in Nova Scotia are comparable to the other utilities across Canada and less than those in New England and Europe.

(Cape Breton Post)