Critical NewPage power decision expected Monday

A decision on power rates is expected next week that's considered critical for the future of an idle paper mill in Cape Breton.

The province's Utility and Review Board says it will release its decision Monday on a proposed agreement between Pacific West Commercial Corp., and Nova Scotia Power Inc.

Pacific West has offered to buy the NewPage Port Hawkesbury mill for $33 million, but the Vancouver-based firm has said the deal could collapse without a decision in its favour.

The Point Tupper mill shut down last September and Pacific West has said it would like to resume operations next month.

Meanwhile, Premier Darrell Dexter is expected to be in Port Hawkesbury on Monday for an unrelated announcement regarding the mill.

He said earlier this week that the government would soon announce details of an agreement with Pacific West, but declined to elaborate.