Keephills 3 power plant begins commercial operation
Canada’s most advanced coal-fired plant constructed with one of the best safety records in the industry
CALGARY, Alberta (September 1, 2011) – Capital Power Corporation (TSX: CPX) (Capital Power) and TransAlta Corporation (TSX: TA; NYSE: TAC) (TransAlta) today announced the completion of the 495-megawatt gross (MW) Keephills 3 generating facility, the most advanced coal-fired plant ever built in Canada. The facility is now in commercial operation.
The cost to build the project is expected to be approximately $1.98 billion. Costs for the plant, excluding mine capital, are being equally shared by its owners – Capital Power, which led construction, and TransAlta, which will operate the plant.
Although the construction site was one of the largest and busiest in Alberta, with nearly 1,900 people working on the project at the peak of construction in March 2010, the project’s safety record was one of the best in the industry.
“Safety has been a top priority for our contractors and crews throughout construction of the project,” said Capital Power President & CEO Brian Vaasjo. “We are pleased to finish construction with one of the best safety records in the industry, with less than one lost time incident per 1.7 million hours worked.”
“Congratulations and thanks to the team at Capital Power for their work on this project,” said TransAlta President & CEO Steve Snyder. “This represents a significant milestone for TransAlta as we take responsibility for operating a state-of-the-art generating facility which provides Albertans with a source of reliable, economical and environmentally-responsible electricity.”
Keephills 3 joins the TransAlta/Capital Power jointly owned Genesee 3 facility as one of Canada’s cleanest coal-fired facilities. Keephills 3 is equipped with an advanced air quality control system, which achieves superior environmental performance and uses supercritical boiler technology, which features higher boiler temperatures and pressures, and a high-efficiency steam turbine. Because less fuel is used, the facility will emit approximately 24 per cent less carbon dioxide (CO2) in producing the same amount of power previously generated by the Wabamun units fully retired by TransAlta in 2010.
Emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrous oxides (NOx) and mercury will be reduced by 60 to 80 per cent in comparison to the same amount of power produced by the Wabamun units. The facility also features a mercury emission control system, using activated carbon injection technology, and a high efficiency particulate collection system, using fabric filters (baghouse) to capture 99.9 per cent of particulate emissions.
About Capital Power Corporation
Capital Power is a growth-oriented North American independent power producer, building on more than a century of innovation and reliable performance. The Company’s vision is to be recognized as one of North America’s most respected, reliable and competitive power generators. Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Capital Power has interests in 35 facilities in Canada and the U.S. totaling approximately 5,100 megawatts of generation capacity. Capital Power and its subsidiaries develop, acquire and optimize power generation from a wide range of energy sources. The company’s web site can be accessed at www.capitalpower.com.
Forward Looking Information
Certain information in this press release is forward-looking within the meaning of Canadian securities laws as it relates to anticipated financial performance, events or strategies. When used in this context, words such as will, anticipate, believe, plan, intend, target, and expect or similar words suggest future outcomes.
Forward-looking information in this press release includes, among other things, information relating to: (i) the capital cost of the Keephills 3 facility, including mine capital; (ii) the carbon dioxide, SO2, NOx and mercury emissions of Keephills 3 in comparison to the Wabamun generating units retired by TransAlta; (iii) the reduction by Keephills 3 of particulate emissions; (iv) the dispatch of power produced by Keephills 3; These statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by Capital Power in light of its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate. The material factors and assumptions used to develop these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) the operation of Keephills 3; (ii) Keephills 3 power plant availability and dispatch; (iii) the functioning of Keephills 3’s technology; (iv) Capital Power’s assessment of commodity and power markets; (v) weather; (vi) availability and cost of labour and management resources; (vii) performance of contractors and suppliers; (viii) availability and cost of financing; (ix) counterparties will perform their obligations; (x) costs of construction and development.
Whether actual results, performance or achievements will conform to Capital Power’s expectations and predictions is subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from Capital Power’s expectations. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks relating to: (i) operation of Keephills 3; (ii) Keephills 3’s availability and performance; (iii) unanticipated maintenance and other expenditures; (iv) availability and price of energy commodities; (v) electricity load settlement; (vi) regulatory and government decisions; (vii) weather and economic conditions; (viii) construction; (ix) availability and cost of financing; (x) availability and cost of labour, equipment and management resources; and (xi) performance of counterparties, contractors and suppliers in fulfilling their obligations. If any such risks actually occur, they could materially adversely affect Capital Power’s business, financial condition or results of operations. In that case the trading price of Capital Power’s common shares or cumulative rate reset preference shares, series 1 could decline, perhaps materially.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of providing information about management’s current expectations, and plans relating to the future. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes. Capital Power does not undertake or accept any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in Capital Power’s expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based, except as required by law.
TransAlta is a power generation and wholesale marketing company focused on creating long-term shareholder value. TransAlta maintains a low-to-moderate risk profile by operating a highly contracted portfolio of assets in Canada, the United States and Australia. TransAlta’s focus is to efficiently operate our biomass, geothermal, wind, hydro, natural gas and coal facilities in order to provide our customers with a reliable, low-cost source of power. For 100 years, TransAlta has been a responsible operator and a proud contributor to the communities where we work and live. TransAlta is recognized for its leadership on sustainability by the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, the FTSE4Good Index and the Jantzi Social Index. TransAlta is Canada’s largest investor-owned renewable energy provider.
Forward Looking Information
This news release may contain forward looking statements, including statements regarding the business and anticipated financial performance of TransAlta Corporation. These statements are based on TransAlta Corporation’s belief and assumptions based on information available at the time the assumption was made. These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause such differences include expectations in respect of generation availability and production, legislative or regulatory developments, competition, global capital markets activity, changes in prevailing interest rates, currency exchange rates, inflation levels and general economic conditions in geographic areas where TransAlta Corporation operates.
Note: All financial figures are in Canadian dollars unless noted otherwise.
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