Coal

Brooks Power Project files official documents with Alberta government

CALGARY, Sept. 24, 2001 — Fording Coal Limited has filed with Alberta Environment the documents to proceed to public consultation and permitting stages on the Brooks Power Project.

The project, planned for construction near Brooks, Alberta about 180 kilometres southeast of Calgary, is now slated for up to two 500-megawatt generating units to be built in the southern half of the province where Albertans need electricity most.

“Not only will this provide much-needed electricity generation in southern Alberta, but it also has the potential to defer costly provincial north-south transmission upgrades,” explained Jim Gardiner, Fording President and Chief Executive Officer.

“By constructing a power plant in southern Alberta, we can significantly reduce the transmission losses experienced with the north-south transmission system,” said Gardiner. “With our low-sulphur coal which is among the cleanest in the world, and the state-of-the-art supercritical technology that we plan to use, emissions produced by the Brooks Power Project will meet Alberta’s stringent environmental standards.”

The Public Disclosure Document and Draft Terms of Reference for the Environmental Impact Assessment have been filed with Alberta Environment to begin the public consultation process and advance the project through the regulatory approval process. A contract will also be awarded to an engineering design consortium to prepare a detailed plant design, which will include specifics on configuration, interconnection to the provincial power grid, and detailed cost estimates for the Brooks Power Project.

Over the next few months, an environmental impact assessment will be completed and regulatory applications will be filed. Based on regulatory and Board of Directors approvals being granted in early 2002 and a favourable project feasibility evaluation, the project is anticipated to proceed to the construction phase. Once on-line in late 2005, the Brooks Power Project would begin providing Albertans with a reliable, economic and stable supply of electricity for more than 35 years.

Fording Coal Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fording Inc. headquartered in Calgary, is Canada’s largest export-coal producer with more than 30 years of experience. The company operates three export coal mines in British Columbia and two thermal coal mines in Alberta that supply adjacent power plants. Fording also produces and markets industrial minerals from mining operations in the United States and Mexico. For more information about Fording, please visit the company’s website (www.fording.ca).