08/27/2012 12:56 EDT | Updated 10/27/2012 05:12 EDT

New Brunswick government to introduce legislation to reassemble NB Power

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick Premier David Alward says new legislation will be introduced during the next session of the legislature to reassemble NB Power.

The Crown-owned utility was broken into various components, such as generation and distribution, by Bernard Lord's Conservative government in 2004.

Alward says his government is looking for improved performance from NB Power and will give the Energy and Utilities Board greater powers to oversee that performance.

In July, NB Power reported earnings of $173 million for 2011-12 — an increase of $106 million over the previous year — but the debt increased by $83 million.

Alward says talks continue in an effort to get the federal government to pay for cost overruns for the refurbishment of the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant.

The facility is expected to return to service this fall, but the project is about three years behind schedule and $1 billion over the original $1.4-billion budget.