CALGARY, ALBERTA, March 13, 2002 — Canadian Gas & Electric Inc. (CG&E), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc., announced today that the city of Grande Prairie has agreed to purchase all of the city’s power requirements from the 25 MW Grande Prairie EcoPower™ Centre.
CG&E will supply electricity to satisfy the city’s current consumption of approximately 20,000 MWh per year together with an option to purchase up to an additional 15,000 MWh per year resulting from the city’s growth.
In addition, CG&E will supply approximately 2,000 MWh per year of power to meet the city’s street and traffic lighting requirements. The term of the contract will be for 15 years commencing January 1, 2004, and may be extended by mutual agreement for an additional 5 years. CG&E expects to sign the contract with the city by April 30, 2002.
“We congratulate the city of Grande Prairie for its commitment to purchase power on a long-term basis from a locally-based, environmentally responsible power source,” said Guido Bachmann, President of CG&E. “This contract will ensure the city has stable, long-term, competitively-priced power, and will provide predictable, long-term cash flow from this project.”
Grande Prairie’s Mayor, Wayne Ayling, complimented CG&E on their professional approach, “Our City Council was impressed with CG&E’s expertise and ability to provide an efficient green power supply.”
Construction of the Grande Prairie EcoPower™ Centre is expected to commence this spring. The plant will use Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor) wood waste to generate both electricity and steam for use in the adjacent Canfor Grande Prairie lumber mill and may also provide electricity to the nearby Hines Creek lumber mill.
The proposed design will be a showcase facility that will result in an estimated 85% reduction of particulate emissions through the removal of the existing wood residue incinerator. It will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 160,000 tonnes per year by displacing other polluting power sources.
The project will have a positive economic impact on the city, creating 20 new jobs for its residents and providing a new municipal tax base.
In addition to the city’s and Canfor’s purchase of power from this project, CG&E is in the process of securing additional sales contracts, which would result in a total of 150,000 MWh per year of power sold on a long-term basis from the Grande Prairie EcoPower™ Centre.
This $46 million project is anticipated to be complete by the first quarter of 2003 and operational early in the third quarter of 2003. CG&E plans to have this plant EcoLogo™ certified.
Canadian Hydro is committed to the concept of low-impact power generation. Through its wind, run-of-river hydro and biomass facilities, Canadian Hydro is demonstrating that commitment to the benefit of the environment and its shareholders.