BANGOR, MAINE, Dec. 19, 2000—The merger of Bangor Hydro-Electric Company and Emera Inc. cleared a major hurdle earlier than expected Monday, when the Maine Public Utilities Commission approved the transaction. The deal will see Emera acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Bangor Hydro for U.S.$205 million, and was approved by BGR shareholders in October.

“We are pleased to have been able to accomplish this approval so quickly,” said Robert S. Briggs, President of Bangor Hydro. “Maine PUC approval is necessary in order to achieve the rest of the required approvals, and now we will focus our efforts on them. The sooner we close this merger, the sooner we can begin to realize the benefits for all parties.”

Bangor Hydro and Emera had applied to the Maine PUC for the necessary approval in August. The PUC established a schedule for hearings and briefings that would have produced a decision in February 2001. The timetable was advanced because the active participants in the case were successful in reaching a settlement agreement, or stipulation, that was approved by the PUC, thus concluding the process.

Regulatory approvals still pending include the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The processes for all necessary regulatory approvals are expected to be complete in the first half of 2001.

“We are encouraged by how efficiently this regulatory approval process was conducted,” said Chris Huskilson, Executive Vice-President of Emera Inc. “We look forward to a long and productive partnership with the MPUC, and we are eager to finish up the other approvals and start serving our new customers.”

Bangor Hydro (www.bhe.com) is an electric utility serving a population of about 192,000 in an area encompassing 5,275 square miles in eastern and east coastal Maine. Bangor Hydro is a member of the New England Power Pool and is interconnected with other New England utilities to the south and with the New Brunswick Power Corp. to the north. Visit Bangor Hydro on the Web at https://bhe.com.

Emera Inc. is a diversified energy and services company, with 440,000 customers and $2.9 billion in assets. Its wholly-owned operating subsidiary, Nova Scotia Power Inc., is a regulated electric utility that supplies over 95% of the electric generation, transmission and distribution in Nova Scotia. Emera also delivers bunker oil, diesel fuel and light fuel oil through its unregulated subsidiaries, and has a 12.5 per cent interest in the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, which delivers Sable Island natural gas to markets in Maritime Canada and the northeastern United States. Visit Emera on the web at www.emera.com.