Vancouver, BC - March 24, 2010 - Plutonic Power Corporation (the
"Company") (PCC: TSX) announced today a progress update and its
financial results in Canadian Dollars for the fourth quarter and year
ended December 31, 2009.
2009 ended with excellent construction progress being achieved at the
East Toba River and Montrose Creek ("Toba Montrose Project") run of
river hydroelectric project. Additionally, the Company strengthened its
relationship with GE Energy Financial Services ("GE") through their
joint purchase of the 300 megawatt ("MW") Dokie wind farm in northern
British Columbia. Plutonic's balance sheet was strengthened through a
$70 million bought deal financing in the fall.
The Toba Montrose Project being built with our partner GE through 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 BC Hydro and Power Authority ("BC Hydro") under a
35-year Electricity Purchase Agreement ("EPA").
During the fourth quarter of 2009, the Company met its obligation to fund its $30 million equity commitment in TMGP.
Milestones during the fourth quarter of 2009 include:
transmission line from the Toba Montrose Project is expected to be
energized in March with electricity purchased from BC Hydro to allow for
commissioning and testing of electrical components related to the
project. Once the East Toba Montrose generating units are synchronized
to the BC Hydro system, TMGP will begin to use its own energy to
complete testing. Commercial operation of East Toba is planned for
July, and Montrose is planned for November 2010.
completion of the engineering, procurement and construction ("EPC")
contract, including access roads and bridges and the East Toba
powerhouse and intake structures
- Work nearing completion includes the East Toba penstock, the Montrose intake and the transmission line
DOKIE WIND PROJECT
During the fourth quarter of 2009, the Company and GE formed Dokie
General Partnership ("DGP"), to acquire, finance, complete the
construction and operate the 144 MW Dokie Wind Project in conjunction
with our First Nations partners, the Halfway River, West Moberly and
Saulteau First Nations and McLeod Lake Indian Band. DGP acquired the
partially completed and fully permitted Dokie Wind Project from
EarthFirst Canada Inc. DGP arranged debt financing of $175 million and
the Company and GE contributed $52.5 million of project equity to
finance the completion of the Dokie Wind Project. The Dokie Wind
Project is located 1,100 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, near
Chetwynd, BC and it will use 48 3-MW wind turbines to generate and sell
on average 333 gigawatt hours ("GWh") of electricity annually net of
transmission line losses. Completion of construction and commencement
of electricity sale to BC Hydro is scheduled for early 2011 under a 25
DGP entered into an EPC contract with Mortenson Canada Corporation
("Mortenson") to complete construction of the Dokie Wind Project. In
December 2009, Mortenson assumed care, custody and control of the
project site. Over the next few months shipment of all remaining wind
turbines to Chetwynd, BC will be completed. Subsequent to December 31,
2009, Mortenson's field team mobilized to site and their "winter"
program includes foundation preparation for the remaining 37 wind
turbine generator sites, completion of site road sub-base and the
widening of main and collector roads. The project activity is
proceeding in conformance with the master project plan.
For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2009, the Company incurred a
net loss of $3.1 million ($0.05 net loss per common share) compared with
a net loss of $5.2 million ($0.12 net loss per common share) for the
quarter ended December 31, 2008. The Company's net loss for the quarter
ended December 31, 2009 is comprised of $3.5 million (2008 - $2.0
million) in net cash operating expenditures, and $0.4 million in
non-cash operating gains (2008 - $3.2 million non-cash operating loss),
including share based compensation, share based guarantee fees, and an
unrealized gain on the fair value adjustment of interest rate swaps.
For the year ended December 31, 2009, the Company incurred a net loss of
$19.3 million ($0.40 net loss per common share) compared with a net
loss of $14.3 million ($0.34 net loss per common share) in 2008. The
Company's net loss for the year ended December 31, 2009 is comprised of
$10.3 million (December 31, 2008 - $6.5 million) in net cash operating
expenditures, and $9.0 million (December 31, 2008 - $7.8 million) in
non-cash items, including share based compensation, share based
guarantee fees, and an unrealized loss on the fair value adjustment of
interest rate swaps.
As at December 31, 2009, the Company had $14.4 million in consolidated
cash, $51.9 million in consolidated cash restricted to construction and
consolidated working capital of $57.5 million. Excluding its respective
proportionate 40% share of TMGP cash and working capital and 51% share
of DGP cash and working capital as at December 31, 2009, the Company had
$11.9 million in cash and $13.4 million in working capital.
As at December 31, 2009, the Company had recorded $238.8 million in long
term debt, $268.2 million in property plant and equipment and $5.6
million in intangible assets, based on its 40% share in TMGP and 51%
share in DGP. The long term debt of TMGP and DGP are secured by the
assets of TMGP and DGP respectively and are non-recourse to the other
assets of the Company.
During the fourth quarter of 2009, the Company completed a bought deal
equity financing co-led by Cormark Securities Inc., GMP Securities L.P.
and Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd. pursuant to which the lead
underwriters purchased 21,000,000 common shares of the Company at a
price of $3.35 per common share for net proceeds of $66.5 million. The
Company used the proceeds from this equity financing to fund its $30
million equity commitment in TMGP, its $26.8 million equity contribution
to DGP and the balance for general working capital purposes.
This financial summary should be read in conjunction with the Company's
December 31, 2009 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
2010 UPDATES AND FORECAST
In March 2010, BC Hydro offered an EPA for a modified Upper Toba Valley
Project that now includes two power sites with a combined potential
capacity of 124 MW and expected annual generation of 315 GWh of
electricity net of transmission line losses. The original proposal
included a third power site, which was removed during discussions with
BC Hydro due to concerns about capacity constraints on a British
Columbia Transmission Corporation transmission line between Saltery Bay
and Malaspina. The Company and GE expect to enter into an EPA with BC
Hydro for the modified Upper Toba Valley Project by April 1, 2010.
Negotiations with BC Hydro for an EPA on the Bute Inlet Project will not
move ahead at this time, in order to allow for further data collection,
studies and due diligence.
During 2010 the Company expects to complete construction and
commissioning of the Toba Montrose Project. This will mark a transition
of the company from a developer to that of a clean energy generator
with positive cash flow.
Further, construction of the 144 MW Dokie Wind Project will be complete
in late 2010 with commissioning and testing estimated to be completed in
early 2011. Under the direction of GE, a feasibility study has
commenced for the additional 156 MW Dokie expansion.
Work on Upper Toba during 2010 will focus on the entering into of a
formal partnership agreement with GE, an Impact Benefit Agreement with
the Klahoose First Nation, construction, permitting and financing
About Plutonic Power Corporation
British Columbia based Plutonic Power is a Canadian leader in clean
energy development. Our vision is to create a legacy through the
development of renewable, reliable, clean energy projects. Plutonic is a
partner in 340 megawatts of hydro and wind projects that are under
construction. In 2010 commercial operations will start at the $660
million, 196 megawatt East Toba River and Montrose Creek run-of-river
hydroelectric project. Active construction is also underway on the
$227.5 million, 144 megawatt Dokie Wind Project, diversifying Plutonic
Power's clean energy portfolio. Plutonic is committed to working in
partnership with First Nations, stakeholder groups and local communities
in the development of all of its projects. By developing its suite of
projects, Plutonic will help British Columbia realize its goal 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:
Office: 604-669-4999 ext 1034
The TSX Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or
accuracy of this release. Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements -
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements,
including statements regarding the business and anticipated financial
performance of the Company. These statements are subject to a number of
risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from
results contemplated by the forward-looking statements. When relying on
forward-looking statements to make decisions, investors and others
should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties
and should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.
The Company does not undertake to update any forward looking statements,
oral or written, made by itself or on its behalf.