Plutonic, GE advance Canada’s 196-MW East Toba-Montrose

Plutonic Power Corp. and GE Energy Financial Services announced Oct. 29 they executed the first transactions intended to fully fund development of the C$660 million (US$692 million), 196-MW East Toba River Montrose Creek hydroelectric project in British Columbia.

The transactions involved agreements to complete funding of the East Toba River Montrose Creek general partnership. Project developer Plutonic said it transferred all contracts, permits, rights, and authorizations to the partnership, including its energy purchase agreement with BC Hydro.

As reported in 2006, GE is investing up to C$112 million (US$117 million) to acquire a 49 percent equity and 60 percent economic interest in the project. Following a 35-year term, GE’s economic interests will convert to 49 percent. (HNN 8/31/06)

The new announcement mentions additional financial details about the partnership. For example, GE is offering C$30 million (US$31.5 million) credit to fund Plutonic’s direct costs for increasing the capacity of a 230-kilovolt transmission line.

In return for its contributions, Plutonic has issued to GE 650,000 common share purchase warrants, each of which could be exercised to buy one common share of Plutonic for C$9.03 (US$9.48).

Additionally, GE has provided C$100 million (US$105 million) credit to the partnership. GE has agreed to repay the credit used with proceeds from its equity investment once commercial operation begins.

The project is under construction at sites about 190 kilometers northwest of Vancouver. Operation of the 123-MW East Toba site is scheduled by mid-2010, and 73-MW Montrose by late 2010. Once complete, the project annually could displace an estimated 455,000 tons of greenhouse gases, Plutonic said.

Andritz VA Tech Hydro in October announced in would supply electro-mechanical equipment to the project as part of a C$55 million contract. (HNN 10/19/07)

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