John Spears, Toronto Star
Ontario’s controversial $7 billion deal with Samsung Renewable Energy is running late. And delays in the initial stages of the deal are likely to cascade into further deferrals, the company says. But in a rare interview, Samsung’s top man in Canada defended the company’s agreement with the province, which has become a lightning rod for critics of the Liberal government’s renewable energy policies.
Ki-Jung Kim said that Samsung has been surprised at the length of time it has taken to get regulatory clearance for its wind and solar projects. With the first two phases of the five-phase mega-project already delayed by a year, Samsung is now negotiating with provincial officials to extend deadlines for completing the other three phases beyond the original date of 2016.
Kim, who is executive vice president for Samsung’s Ontario project, said the company hasn’t wavered in its commitment to green energy. “Samsung is a globally responsible company; we are doing the right things in the right way,” he said. “Renewable energy we believe is the right thing we have to pursue.”
Critics aren’t so kind. Conservative energy critic Vic Fedeli views the Samsung deal, along with the rest of the Liberals’ green energy policies, as extravagant — though he doesn’t blame Samsung for taking it: “If somebody opens up a treasure chest in front of you and says: ‘Dig in,’ you’re going to dig in.” With the storm of debate around the deal, Samsung has rarely been heard from. “We are a little bit shy,” acknowledged Kim. “That is our corporate culture.” Read article