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Plutonic Power Issues Progress Update, Fiscal Year 2008 and Fourth Quarter 2008 Financial Results

03/19/2009


Vancouver, BC - March 19, 2009 - Plutonic Power Corporation (PCC: TSX) announced today a progress update and its financial results in Canadian Dollars for the fiscal year 2008 and for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2008.

TOBA MONTROSE HIGHLIGHTS

Plutonic Power's 196 megawatt (MW), $660 million East Toba River and Montrose Creek run-of-river hydroelectric project (Toba Montrose), being built through a partnership with GE Energy Financial Services and our First Nations partners, the Klahoose, Sliammon and Sechelt First Nations, is fully financed, on-budget and on-schedule to reach commercial operation during 2010. The electricity from this project is contracted to the British Columbia Hydro Authority (BC Hydro) under a 35-year sales contract.

In February 2009, Toba Montrose General Partnership (TMGP) and the Government of Canada formally signed an agreement for the funding of one cent per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by Toba Montrose and sold to BC Hydro for the first ten years of operations under the ecoEnergy for Renewable Power program. The ecoEnergy program provides incentive funding to increase Canada's supply of clean electricity from renewable sources, including low-impact hydro projects such as Toba Montrose, which is expected to generate 727 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity annually, net of transmission line losses.

Noted milestones during the fourth quarter of 2008 include:

  • Achieved full camp operations, with capacity for 290 workers on a 24-hour rotational schedule. Completed more than 672,000 man-hours to date at the site. More than one-third of the staff is comprised of First Nation and local employees.
  • Completed all road and bridge access to the intake and powerhouse sites for East Toba and Montrose.
  • Cleared 115 of 155 kilometres of transmission line right-of-way and installed 228 of 776 pole structures. Installed four kilometres of powerlines.
  • Began excavations for both the powerhouse foundations and trenches.
  • Completed diversion of the East Toba River at the intake site.
  • Initial fabrication of major infrastructure items is well underway, including turbines in Austria, penstock sections in China, US and Canada, penstock bifurcations in Canada, and transformers in Mexico.
UPPER TOBA VALLEY AND BUTE INLET PROJECTS

Noted milestones during the fourth quarter of 2008 include:

  • The Company and GE Energy Financial Services jointly bid the Upper Toba Valley and Bute Inlet run-of-river hydroelectric projects into the BC Hydro and Power Authority 2008 Request for Proposals (BC Hydro 2008 RFP). The Upper Toba Valley and Bute Inlet projects have an approximate combined capacity of 1,200 MW.
  • The Company's application for an environmental assessment certificate for the Upper Toba Valley run-of-river hydroelectric project was accepted by the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office.
  • The provincial and federal environmental assessment process for the Bute Inlet project is well underway and working group meetings including federal and provincial agencies, local government and First Nations were held. The project description and terms of reference were amended to reflect the route selection of the transmission line to Malaspina and the final selection of 17 generating sites.
FINANCIAL RESULTS

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008, Plutonic Power (the Company) incurred a net loss of $14.3 million ($0.34 net loss per share) compared with a net loss of $10.6 million ($0.29 net loss per share) in 2007. The Company's net loss for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008 is comprised of $7.8 million (2007 - $7.2 million) of non-cash expenditures, including share based compensation, share based guarantee fees, power project development costs written off and an unrealized loss on the fair value adjustment of interest rate swaps, and $6.5 million (2007 - $3.4 million) of cash operating expenditures.

For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2008, the Company incurred a net loss of $5.2 million ($0.12 net loss per share) compared with a net loss of $6.2 million ($0.17 net loss per share) for the quarter ended December 31, 2007. The Company's net loss for the quarter ended December 31, 2008 is comprised of $2.0 million (2007 - $3.9 million) of non-cash expenditures, including share based compensation, share based guarantee fees, and an unrealized loss on the fair value adjustment of interest rate swaps, and $3.2 million (2007 - $2.3 million) of cash operating expenditures.

The Company incurred higher cash operating costs to support its share of the joint bid with GE Energy Financial Services to submit the Upper Toba Valley and Bute Inlet run-of-river hydroelectric projects into the BC Hydro 2008 RFP. The BC Hydro 2008 RFP was issued on June 11, 2008 for 5,000 GWh per year of seasonal and hourly firm energy to help ensure that the Province of British Columbia has sufficient electricity to meet its electricity needs by 2016. In November 2008, the Company and GE Energy Financial Services jointly bid the Upper Toba Valley and Bute Inlet projects into the BC Hydro 2008 RFP. BC Hydro expects to award EPAs to successful bidders between mid-April 2009 and June 2009.

As at December 31, 2008, the Company had consolidated cash of $40.2 million including $11.8 million in cash restricted for use in construction activities for its Toba Montrose project. Consolidated working capital, including cash restricted for use in construction activities, was $30.2 million. Plutonic Power's partner in TMGP, GE Energy Financial Services fully funded the $100 million equity bridge loan during 2008. This equity bridge loan is to be converted into project equity upon commencement of operations once the construction of Toba Montrose is completed in 2010.

As at December 31, 2008, the Company had recorded $78.0 million in long term debt, $109.9 million in property plant and equipment and $5.3 million in intangible assets, based on its 40% share in TMGP. The long term debt is secured by the assets of TMGP and is nonrecourse to the other assets of the Company.

This financial summary should be read in conjunction with the Company's December 31, 2008 audited consolidated financial statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis, both of which are available on www.sedar.com and on the Plutonic Power Corporation web site at http://www.plutonic.ca/s/FinancialReports.asp

About Plutonic Power Corporation
Plutonic Power's vision is to provide leadership and create a legacy through the development of renewable, reliable, clean energy. Its proposed Green Power Corridor(tm), comprised of 35 locations, not including the flagship $660 million, 196 MW East Toba River/Montrose Creek run-of-river project currently under construction, have the design capacity to generate enough energy to meet the annual needs of about 630,000 homes and create approximately 5,500 person years of employment. Once built, the Green Power Corridor(tm) could offset an estimated 4 million tons of CO2 emissions every year - the equivalent to taking as many as 650,000 vehicles off the road. Plutonic Power is committed to working in partnership with First Nations, stakeholder groups and local communities in the development of all of its run-of-river projects. By developing its suite of projects, Plutonic Power will help British Columbia realize its goals of becoming electricity self-sufficient by 2016, utilizing 90% clean domestic generation sources will create employment opportunities and will play a significant role in the fight against climate change.

For additional information please contact:

Lisa May
Investor Relations
Office: 604-669-4999 ext 1034
Cell: 604-314-3362
lisa.may@plutonic.ca