Vancouver, BC - May 15, 2009 - Plutonic Power Corporation (PCC:
TSX) announced today a progress update and its financial results in
Canadian Dollars for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009.
Of particular importance to the independent power industry in British
Columbia was the re-election of the British Columbia Liberal Party, led
by Premier Gordon Campbell, on May 12th. The Government has reiterated
it's commitment to becoming a global clean energy powerhouse. The
Government's plan to accomplish this includes achieving electricity self
sufficiency for British Columbia by the year 2016, with at least 90% of
the electricity coming from clean renewable sources, including
run-of-river hydroelectric generation facilities. The election results
have provided the British Columbia Government with a renewed mandate to
continue to include private sector investment to achieve its self
sufficiency and clean energy goals. The election result has provided
increased investment certainty in British Columbia for Plutonic Power.
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 with our partner GE Energy Financial Services by the Toba
Montrose General Partnership (TMGP) in conjunction with 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. All the electricity to be generated from Toba Montrose will
be sold to the British Columbia Hydro Authority (BC Hydro) under a
35-year sales contract.
In February 2009, TMGP and the Government of Canada formally signed an
agreement under the ecoEnergy for Renewable Power program. This program
provides incentive funding to increase Canada's supply of clean
electricity from renewable sources, including low-impact hydro projects
such as Toba Montrose. Once complete, Toba Montrose is expected to
generate 727 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity annually net of
transmission line losses, which will entitle TMGP to receive up to $72.8
million in funding under the ecoEnergy program during its first ten
years of operations based on one cent per kilowatt-hour of electricity
generated by Toba Montrose and sold to BC Hydro.
Other noted milestones during the first quarter of 2009 include:
UPPER TOBA VALLEY AND BUTE INLET PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
- Continued excavations for the East Toba and Montrose powerhouses, and poured 4,200 cubic meters of concrete at East Toba.
- Began excavation for East Toba and Montrose penstock trenches in preparation for penstock installation.
- Received 366 penstock pipe sections, turbine runner pit housings, turbine distributors, and transformers at the site.
- Installed 21 km of transmission line conductor.
- Completed 844,000 cumulative project person-hours of work,
approximately one-third of which was contributed by local and First
Noted recent milestones include:
- In early April 2009, the Company was granted a Provincial
Environmental Assessment Certificate for the Upper Toba Valley Project.
- In early May 2009, the Federal Minister of Environment approved
the Terms of Reference for the Bute Project's Federal environmental
assessment process, which will be proceeding by way of panel review,
together with the Project's Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines.
For the first quarter ended March 31, 2009, Plutonic Power (the Company)
incurred a net loss of $11.3 million ($0.26 net loss per share)
compared with a net loss of $2.7 million ($0.06 net loss per share) in
the same period in 2008. The Company's net loss for the quarter ended
March 31, 2009 is comprised of $9.2 million (March 31, 2008 - $1.8
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 $2.1 million (March 31, 2008 - $0.9 million) of cash
The Company and its TMGP partner, GE Energy Financial Services, signed
an amendment to the TMGP partnership agreement which resulted in a
reallocation of the gains and losses arising from the change in fair
value of TMGP's two interest rate swap contracts. As a result, in March
2009, the Company recorded $8.8 million in unrealized losses from the
change in fair value of the two interest rate swaps. See note 7 in the
interim consolidated financial statements for more details. If and when
interest rate trends reverse, the Company would record this reversal in
the form of unrealized gains. In addition, as the short term interest
rate swap contract approaches its maturity in November 2010, the Company
expects to record additional reversals in the form of unrealized gains
as the fair value of the interest rate swap decreases to nil on
The Company incurred higher operating costs to support the Company's
increased development and growth activities related to the increased
number of power projects under advanced development.
Excluding its proportionate share of Toba Montrose cash and working
capital, as at March 31, 2009, the Company had $22.1 million in cash and
$19.7 million in working capital.
As at March 31, 2009, the Company had recorded $90.6 million in long
term debt, $131.5 million in property plant and equipment and $5.0
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
March 31, 2009 unaudited consolidated interim 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 40 locations, not
including the flagship $660 million, 196 MW East Toba River and Montrose
Creek run-of-river hydro-electric project currently under construction,
has the design capacity to generate enough energy to meet the annual
needs of about 586,000 homes and create approximately 5,900 person years
of employment. Once built, the Green Power Corridor(tm) could offset
almost 4 million tons of CO2 emissions every year - the equivalent to
taking as many as 760,000 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. Plutonic Power will help British Columbia realize
its goals of becoming electricity self-sufficient by 2016, utilizing
90% clean domestic generation sources that will create employment
opportunities and play a significant role in the fight against climate
For additional information please contact:
Office: 604-669-4999 ext 1034