A seven-year, $39.3-million outsourcing contract will see CGI Group Inc. take over management of Nova Scotia utility Emera Inc.’s IT infrastructure, including its data centre, help desk, network and desktop services. Emera operates Nova Scotia Power, based in Halifax, and Bangor Hydro-Electric in

Maine.

Emera purchased Bangor Hydro in 2001 and has been considering the best way to handle a disparate and geographically diverse IT infrastructure ever since, according to spokeswoman Margaret Murphy. By offloading technology to a third party, Emera can prepare itself to expand into other parts of northeastern North America through acquisition.

The deal was designed with this possibility in mind, said David Carrigan, director of business development in CGI’s Halifax office. “”The expectation is that as they expand, we have the capability to expand with them,”” he says.

The deal allows Emera to focus on energy production after a difficult year for the industry. An August blackout shut down Ontario and much of the Eastern Seaboard, and Halifax was hit by Hurricane Juan in September.

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