GE unit to invest millions in Canadian hydroelectric plant

FAIRFIELD, CONNECTICUT - A Canadian affiliate of GE Energy Financial Services will invest millions of dollars in a hydroelectric project in British Columbia developed by Plutonic Power Corp., the companies announced recently.

The affiliate will invest up to 112 million Canadian dollars (about $103.6 million U.S.) in equity investment and 400 million Canadian dollars (about $370 million U.S.) in debt financing for construction of the plant.

GE Energy and Plutonic Power, a Canadian electric power distributor, announced the plans last summer and said they had agreed on terms. The agreement is expected to close in June, with construction slated to start this summer.

GE will receive 49 percent equity and 60 percent economic interest in the 196-megawatt hydroelectric project, located about 120 miles northwest of Vancouver.

The project is expected to produce enough energy to provide power to about 75,000 homes annually and avoid 455,000 metric tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions, the companies said. It is expected to go online in 2010.

In addition to its equity commitment, GE Energy Financial Services and Manulife Financial are teaming in a secured debt offering to finance the project. The offering, equivalent to about 466 million Canadian dollars, is worth $431 million U.S.

GE Energy also announced that it will expand its wind energy portfolio by investing in a 209-megawatt project being built by Airtricity Inc. in west Texas.

GE Energy Financial Services and a subsidiary of Wachovia Corp. are each investing 50 percent of the structured equity in the $300 million Roscoe Wind Farm. The wind farm will produce enough energy to power 60,000 homes and avoid 375,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

GE Energy pledged to double its renewable energy investments by 2010 and says it is one of the first financial institutions to disclose the greenhouse gas emissions from its power plant equity investments.


in Year