Burnaby, Canada
Burnaby, Canada

The BC Hydro and Power Authority is a Canadian electric utility in the province of British Columbia, generally known simply as BC Hydro. It is the main electric distributor, serving 1.8 million customers in most areas, with the exception of the City of New Westminster, where the city runs its own electrical department and the Kootenay region, where FortisBC, a subsidiary of Fortis Inc. directly provides electric service to 213,000 customers and supplies municipally owned utilities in the same area. As a provincial Crown corporation, BC Hydro reports to the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines, and is regulated by the British Columbia Utilities Commission . It is mandated to provide "reliable power, at low cost, for generations." BC Hydro operates 31 hydroelectric facilities and three natural gas-fueled thermal power plants. As of 2014, 95 per cent of the province's electricity was produced by hydroelectric generating stations, which consist mostly of large hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Peace Rivers. BC Hydro's various facilities generate between 43,000 and 54,000 gigawatt hours of electricity annually, depending on prevailing water levels. BC Hydro's capacity is about 11,000 megawatts.Electricity is delivered through a network of 18,286 kilometers of transmission lines and 55,254 kilometers of distribution lines. For the 2013-2014 fiscal year, the domestic electric sales volume was 53,018 gigawatt hours, revenue was $5.392 billion and net income was $549 million. Wikipedia.


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News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

ST. JOHN'S, TERRE-NEUVE-ET-LABRADOR--(Marketwired - 12 mai 2017) - Fortis Inc. (« Fortis ») (TSX:FTS)(NYSE:FTS) et Ressources Teck Limitée (« Teck ») (TSX:TECK.A)(TECK.B)(NYSE:TECK) ont annoncé aujourd'hui la conclusion d'un accord par lequel Fortis se porte acquéreuse des intérêts de Teck dans le barrage Waneta, soit les deux tiers de la propriété, et des actifs de transport connexes situés en Colombie-Britannique (Canada), le tout pour la somme de 1,2 milliard de dollars comptant. L'accord prévoit un bail de 20 ans au titre duquel Teck Metals Ltd. (« Teck Metals ») pourra faire usage de la participation de Fortis dans le barrage Waneta afin de produire l'électricité devant alimenter ses installations industrielles de Trail (les « installations de Trail »). Les paiements annuels s'élèveront initialement à environ 75 millions de dollars et augmenteront à raison de 2 % par année, ce qui correspond à un prix initial de 40 $/MWh pour une consommation annuelle d'électricité de 1 880 GWh. Teck Metals aura aussi l'option de prolonger le bail pour une autre période de 10 ans, à des tarifs comparables. « Grâce à cet accord, Teck renforce davantage son bilan et obtient un capital substantiel à réinvestir dans la croissance globale de ses activités, indique Don Lindsay, président et chef de la direction de Teck. Ainsi, nos installations de Trail bénéficieront pendant longtemps d'une alimentation en électricité sûre à des tarifs concurrentiels, inférieurs à ceux du marché, ce qui nous permettra d'investir dans des projets innovants de modernisation de nos installations. » « Installation de grande qualité productrice d'énergie renouvelable et située au cœur de nos activités britanno-colombiennes, le barrage Waneta est le complément idéal à notre stratégie d'investissement dans les énergies durables, souligne M. Barry Perry, président et chef de la direction de Fortis. Il s'agit d'un bien durable qui générera d'excellents flux de trésorerie, garantis par le bail de 20 ans avec Teck. Nous prévoyons que cette acquisition contribuera dès maintenant au bénéfice par action. » À la clôture de l'opération, Teck s'attend à réaliser produit net comptable d'environ 800 millions de dollars, qui ne fera l'objet d'aucun prélèvement d'impôt. Depuis 2012, Teck a investi approximativement 525 millions de dollars dans divers projets d'amélioration de l'efficacité, de la productivité et de la performance environnementale de ses installations. De plus, elle a engagé 174 millions de dollars pour la construction d'une deuxième usine d'acide, qui est déjà en chantier et dont la mise en service est prévue pour l'été 2019. Teck a aussi ciblé de nouveaux projets, actuellement à l'étude, qui représentent un investissement total de 150 millions de dollars sur cinq ans dans l'amélioration de sa rentabilité, de sa productivité et sa performance environnementale. L'acquisition du barrage Waneta, situé au cœur du territoire de FortisBC, témoigne de la confiance et de l'engagement de Fortis envers la Colombie-Britannique. FortisBC est enracinée dans la région depuis plus d'un siècle et elle emploie environ 350 travailleurs dans la région de Kootenay. En plus des quatre installations de production qu'elle possède sur la rivière Kootenay, FortisBC exploite le barrage Waneta et l'Expansion Waneta, en plus d'en assurer l'entretien. Le barrage Waneta sera exploité en tant que filiale d'infrastructure énergétique non réglementée de Fortis Inc. Fortis financera l'opération au moyen de fonds en caisse, de capitaux empruntés et de capitaux propres. La clôture de l'opération est sujette aux réserves d'usage, soit l'obtention des approbations et consentements requis. De plus, BC Hydro, qui détient l'autre tiers des intérêts dans les actifs du barrage Waneta et reçoit actuellement le tiers de l'énergie produite, a, de ce fait, droit de préemption sur la participation de Teck, conformément à l'accord de copropriété et d'exploitation que Teck Metals et BC Hydro ont conclu en 2010 à l'égard du barrage. BC Hydro doit aussi fournir certains consentements et apporter des modifications pour que l'opération se concrétise. Teck versera une indemnité de rupture à Fortis si BC Hydro décide d'exercer son droit de préemption. La clôture de l'opération devrait avoir lieu au quatrième trimestre de 2017. Marchés mondiaux CIBC Inc. agit comme conseiller financier exclusif de Ressources Teck dans le cadre de l'opération. Le barrage Waneta, situé sur la rivière Pend d'Oreille, a une capacité totale de 496 mégawatts (MW) en énergie renouvelable et génère en moyenne 2 750 gigawattheures par année. Les installations de Teck à Trail consomment aux alentours de 1 880 gigawattheures de l'électricité qui provient du barrage Waneta. BC Hydro détient un tiers des intérêts dans le barrage Waneta et reçoit environ le tiers de l'énergie qu'il produit. Fortis détient 51 % de l'Expansion Waneta, projet qui s'est terminé en 2015 et qui a ajouté une capacité de 335 MW en énergie propre grâce à l'ajout d'une deuxième centrale en aval. Le barrage Waneta est régi par la convention de la centrale Canal (« CCC »), conclue entre BC Hydro, FortisBC et les propriétaires d'autres centrales le long des rivières Kootenay et Pend d'Oreille. La CCC permet aux parties, grâce à une utilisation coordonnée des débits d'eau ainsi qu'à l'exploitation coordonnée des réservoirs de stockage et des centrales, de produire plus d'électricité à partir de leurs ressources de production respectives qu'elles ne pourraient le faire si elles exerçaient leurs activités de façon indépendante. Les intérêts de Teck dans la production du barrage Waneta sont définis et déterminés conformément aux stipulations de la CCC. La CCC réduit le risque hydrologique lié au barrage Waneta. Parmi les actifs acquis, on compte aussi la ligne de transport 71, qui donne accès aux marchés d'importation et d'exportation aux États-Unis, et d'autres actifs de transport locaux. Les installations de Teck à Trail, ville du sud-est de la Colombie-Britannique, forment l'un des plus grand complexes intégrés de fusion et d'affinage du zinc et du plomb au monde. On y produit aussi toute une gamme de métaux précieux et spéciaux, de produits chimiques et d'engrais. Plus de la moitié des produits affinés aux installations de Trail proviennent des mines de Teck. En 2016, les installations de Trail ont produit 312 000 tonnes de zinc affiné, dont la vente a généré un chiffre d'affaire de 2,05 milliards de dollars et un bénéfice brut avant amortissement de 241 millions de dollars. Fortis se positionne parmi les géants nord-américains du secteur réglementé de l'électricité et du gaz, forte d'un actif d'environ 48 milliards de dollars. Ses 8 000 employés servent des clients dans cinq provinces canadiennes, neuf États américains et trois pays des Caraïbes. Les actions de Fortis sont inscrites à la cote de la TSX et de la NYSE sous le symbole « FTS ». Pour en savoir plus, consultez le www.fortis.com, le www.sedar.com ou le www.sec.gov. Teck est une société exploitante de ressources vouée à l'exploitation et à la mise en valeur responsables des ressources minérales. Ses principales divisions sont spécialisées dans le cuivre, le charbon destiné à la sidérurgie, le zinc et l'énergie. Son siège social est à Vancouver (Canada) et ses actions sont inscrites à la cote de la TSX, sous les symboles « TECK.A » et « TECK.B », et de la NYSE, sous le symbole « TECK ». Teck est présente sur le Web à l'adresse www.teck.com et sur Twitter à @TeckResources. Fortis et Teck incluent dans le présent communiqué des énoncés prospectifs au sens des lois sur les valeurs mobilières applicables, y compris la Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Les mots « anticiper », « croire », « budgets », « pourrait », « estimer », « s'attendre à », « prévoir », « avoir l'intention de », « peut », « possible », « plans », « projets », « planifié », « cible », « devrait », le pendant négatif de ces termes et toute expression semblable servent aussi souvent que possible à introduire des énoncés prospectifs, qui incluent, notamment, en ce qui a trait à Fortis, les énoncés se rapportant à l'acquisition d'intérêts dans le barrage Waneta et les actifs de transport connexes, à son échéancier et aux avantages qu'elle représente; à la contrepartie totale attendue et aux ajustements; à la satisfaction des conditions de clôture, y compris l'obtention de certains consentements et approbations; et au financement prévu. En ce qui a trait à Teck, les énoncés prospectifs incluent, notamment : les énoncés se rapportant à la vente de ses intérêts dans le barrage Waneta et les actifs de transport connexes, et à la location de ces intérêts; aux avantages attendus de l'opération; à la valeur nette comptable du gain attendu; à la date d'achèvement de la construction de la deuxième usine d'acide aux installations de Trail; au potentiel de nouveaux projets aux installations de Trail et aux avantages qu'ils représentent; et à la satisfaction des conditions de clôture, y compris l'obtention de certains consentements et approbations. Les énoncés prospectifs comportent des risques, des incertitudes et des hypothèses considérables. Les conclusions contenues dans les énoncés prospectifs reposent sur un certain nombre de facteurs ou hypothèses d'importance. Ces facteurs ou hypothèses sont assujettis à des incertitudes et à des risques inhérents entourant les attentes futures en général, y compris ceux contenus dans les énoncés prospectifs. Ces facteurs et hypothèses comprennent notamment : l'obtention des approbations requises en vue de l'acquisition et à l'échéancier et aux modalités de ces approbations; les risques entourant la non-réalisation de l'acquisition ou son échéancier; le risque que BC Hydro exerce son droit de préemption; les risques d'intrusion; les risques liés à la satisfaction des conditions de l'acquisition; les risques que des conditions économiques défavorables se répercutent sur les résultats d'exploitation de Fortis et de Teck; les risques de change; et les conditions économiques, politiques et de marché en général. De plus, en ce qui a trait à Teck, on tient pour acquis, dans les hypothèses à l'égard des nouveaux projets aux installations de Trail et de leurs avantages, que ces projets seront approuvés et qu'ils produiront les résultats attendus. Fortis et Teck mettent en garde les lecteurs sur le fait que divers facteurs pourraient entraîner un écart important entre les rendements, les réalisations ou les résultats réels et ceux exprimés ou sous-entendus dans les énoncés prospectifs. Le lecteur est invité à étudier ces facteurs attentivement et à ne pas se fier indûment aux énoncés prospectifs. Pour obtenir plus de renseignements sur certains de ces facteurs de risque, prière de consulter les documents du dossier d'information continue que Fortis dépose de temps à autre auprès des autorités de réglementation en valeurs mobilières du Canada et de la Securities and Exchange Commission. Fortis décline toute intention ou obligation de mettre à jour ou de modifier les énoncés prospectifs par suite de faits nouveaux, d'événements futurs ou autrement. Pour obtenir plus de renseignements sur certains facteurs de risque se rapportant à Teck, prière de consulter les documents du dossier d'information continue que Teck déposent de temps à autre auprès des autorités de réglementation en valeurs mobilières du Canada et de la Securities and Exchange Commission. Teck décline toute obligation de réviser ou de mettre à jour les énoncés prospectifs après la publication du présent communiqué ou de les réviser si des événements futurs imprévus surviennent, à moins les lois sur les valeurs mobilières ne l'exigent.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 11, 2017) - Capstone Infrastructure Corporation (TSX:CSE.PR.A) (the "Corporation") today reported results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. The Corporation's 2017 Management's Discussion and Analysis and unaudited interim consolidated financial statements are available at www.capstoneinfrastructure.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. All amounts are in Canadian dollars. Capstone's activity in the first quarter of 2017 included producing enough eligible power to receive $3.7 million in government grant funding at Whitecourt, Capstone's biomass facility, as well as ongoing discussions with BC Hydro for a new Electricity Purchase Agreement ("EPA") for the Sechelt Creek hydro facility. On March 1, 2017, Capstone entered into a facility agreement for the Sechelt Creek hydro facility with the shíshálh Nation, which will result in minority equity ownership by the shíshálh Nation and profit sharing for the project. In addition, the Settler's Landing wind facility achieved commercial operations on April 5, 2017 and Capstone sold its interest in the Värmevärden district heating utilities business and repatriated the proceeds. The proceeds from the Värmevärden sale were used to satisfy the promissory note held by Irving Infrastructure Corp. ("Irving"), as well as return capital to Irving, the common shareholder. Furthermore, litigation proceedings with the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation (the "OEFC") concluded on January 19, 2017. During the first quarter of 2017, revenue increased by $8.9 million, or 26%, due to contributions from new wind facilities constructed in 2016, as well as from the government grants earned by Whitecourt. The increase was partially offset by decreased revenue from the hydro and solar facilities, as well as from the pre-existing wind facilities. Expenses decreased by $5.2 million, or 26%, primarily due to lower staff costs and professional fees associated with the acquisition by Irving, a subsidiary of iCON Infrastructure Partners III, L.P. ("iCON III"), in 2016. This decrease was partially offset by higher expenses for the new wind facilities. EBITDA in the quarter increased by $20.3 million, or 231%, mainly reflecting the factors noted above. Net income increased by $113.2 million, primarily due to a $128.1 million gain from the sale of Värmevärden. The increase was partially offset by the 2016 contributions from Bristol Water, which Capstone sold in December 2016. As at March 31, 2017, the Corporation had unrestricted cash and cash equivalents of $58.2 million, including $35.5 million at the power segment which is accessible to Capstone through distributions and $22.7 million in total cash and cash equivalents available for general corporate purposes. In addition, Capstone was in a net current liability position of $10.2 million. The deficit mainly results from a $40.5 million increase in the current portion of long-term debt, including a $12.5 million increase in upcoming payments for the the Capstone Power Corp. ("CPC") credit facility, as well as $38.3 million in project debt at Sky Generation LP. Capstone is evaluating options to refinance the Sky Generation LP debt balances maturing in February 2018. Further, Capstone expects to repay the CPC debt from future operating cash flows, as per the terms of the credit facility. On April 1, 2017, Andrew Kennedy was appointed as Chief Financial Officer of Capstone and as a member of the board of directors. Michael Smerdon, Capstone's outgoing Chief Financial Officer, remains on Capstone's board of directors. Mr. Smerdon assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer of iCON Infrastructure Canada Inc. ("iCON Canada"), a subsidiary of iCON Infrastructure LLP and related party to Capstone. Mr. Smerdon leads the activities of iCON Canada and is responsible for driving investments and growth across Canada and the United States. On May 10, 2017, Paul Smith was appointed as a member of Capstone's board of directors. Mr. Smith, who was previously the non-executive chairman of CPC, brings a breadth of operations experience to the board. He has served as Managing Director, Generation at SSE plc (formerly known as Scottish & Southern Energy PLC) and is currently a non-executive director of Scottish Water. He also operates an independent consultancy business, PRS Energy Solutions Ltd. The board of directors today declared a quarterly dividend on the Corporation's Cumulative Five-Year Rate Reset Preferred Shares, Series A (the "Preferred Shares") of $0.2044 per Preferred Share to be paid on or about July 28, 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business on July 14, 2017. The dividend on the Preferred Shares covers the period from April 30, 2017 to July 30, 2017. The dividends paid by the Corporation on its Preferred Shares are designated "eligible" dividends for the purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada). An enhanced dividend tax credit applies to eligible dividends paid to Canadian residents. Capstone's mission is to provide investors with an attractive total return from responsibly managed long-term investments in power generation in North America. The Corporation's strategy is to develop, acquire and manage a portfolio of high quality power facilities that operate in a contractually-defined environment and generate stable cash flow. Capstone currently owns, operates and develops thermal and renewable power generation facilities in North America with a total installed capacity of net 509 megawatts. Please visit www.capstoneinfrastructure.com for more information. Certain of the statements contained within this document are forward-looking and reflect management's expectations regarding the future growth, results of operations, performance and business of Capstone Infrastructure Corporation (the "Corporation") based on information currently available to the Corporation. Forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of presenting information about management's current expectations and plans relating to the future and readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. These statements use forward-looking words, such as "anticipate", "continue", "could", "expect", "may", "will", "intend", "estimate", "plan", "believe" or other similar words, and include, among other things, statements found in "Results of Operations" and "Financial Position Review". These statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements and, accordingly, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. The forward-looking statements within this document are based on information currently available and what the Corporation currently believes are reasonable assumptions, including the material assumptions set out in the management's discussion and analysis of the results of operations and the financial condition of the Corporation ("MD&A") for the year ended December 31, 2016 under the headings "Changes in the Business", "Results of Operations" and "Financial Position Review", as updated in subsequently filed MD&A of the Corporation (such documents are available under the Corporation's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com). Other potential material factors or assumptions that were applied in formulating the forward-looking statements contained herein include or relate to the following: that the business and economic conditions affecting the Corporation's operations will continue substantially in their current state, including, with respect to industry conditions, general levels of economic activity, regulations, weather, taxes and interest rates; that the preferred shares will remain outstanding and that dividends will continue to be paid on the preferred shares; that there will be no material delays in the Corporation's wind development projects achieving commercial operation; that the Corporation's power infrastructure facilities will experience normal wind, hydrological and solar irradiation conditions, and ambient temperature and humidity levels; that there will be no material changes to the Corporation's facilities, equipment or contractual arrangements; that there will be no material changes in the legislative, regulatory and operating framework for the Corporation's businesses; that there will be no material delays in obtaining required approvals for the Corporation's power infrastructure facilities; that there will be no material changes in environmental regulations for the power infrastructure facilities; that there will be no significant event occurring outside the ordinary course of the Corporation's businesses; the refinancing on similar terms of the Corporation's and its subsidiaries' various outstanding credit facilities and debt instruments which mature during the period in which the forward-looking statements relate; that the conversion rights pursuant to the convertible debenture issued in connection with the Grey Highlands ZEP wind facility, the Ganaraska wind facility, the Snowy Ridge wind facility and the Settlers Landing wind facility are exercised; market prices for electricity in Ontario and the amount of hours that Cardinal is dispatched; the price that Whitecourt will receive for its electricity production considering the market price for electricity in Alberta, the impact of renewable energy credits, and Whitecourt's agreement with Millar Western, which includes sharing mechanisms regarding the price received for electricity sold by the facility; and the re-contracting of the power purchase agreement ("PPA") for Sechelt. Although the Corporation believes that it has a reasonable basis for the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements, actual results may differ from those suggested by the forward-looking statements for various reasons, including: risks related to the Corporation's securities (controlling shareholder, dividends on common shares and preferred shares are not guaranteed; and volatile market price for the Corporation's securities); risks related to the Corporation and its businesses (availability of debt and equity financing; default under credit agreements and debt instruments; geographic concentration; foreign currency exchange rates; acquisitions, development and integration; environmental, health and safety; changes in legislation and administrative policy; and reliance on key personnel); and risks related to the Corporation's power infrastructure facilities (market price for electricity; power purchase agreements; completion of the Corporation's wind development projects; operational performance; contract performance and reliance on suppliers; land tenure and related rights; environmental; and regulatory environment). For a comprehensive description of these risk factors, please refer to the "Risk Factors" section of the Corporation's Annual Information Form dated March 24, 2017, as supplemented by disclosure of risk factors contained in any subsequent annual information form, material change reports (except confidential material change reports), business acquisition reports, interim financial statements, interim management's discussion and analysis and information circulars filed by the Corporation with the securities commissions or similar authorities in Canada (which are available under the Corporation's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com). The assumptions, risks and uncertainties described above are not exhaustive and other events and risk factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results and events discussed in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements within this document reflect current expectations of the Corporation as at the date of this document and speak only as at the date of this document. Except as may be required by applicable law, the Corporation does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. This document is not an offer or invitation for the subscription or purchase of or a recommendation of securities. It does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any investors. Before making an investment in the Corporation, an investor or prospective investor should consider whether such an investment is appropriate to their particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances and consult an investment adviser if necessary.


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA and ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwired - May 12, 2017) - Fortis Inc. ("Fortis"), (TSX/NYSE:FTS) and Teck Resources Limited ("Teck"), (TSX: TECK.A and TECK.B, NYSE: TECK) today announced an agreement under which Fortis will purchase Teck's two-thirds interest in the Waneta Dam and related transmission assets in British Columbia, Canada, for $1.2 billion cash. Under the agreement, Teck Metals Ltd. ("Teck Metals") will be granted a 20-year lease to use Fortis' two-thirds interest in Waneta to produce power for its industrial operations in Trail ("Trail Operations"). Annual payments will begin at approximately $75 million per year and escalate at 2% per annum, equivalent to an initial power price of $40/MWh based on 1,880 GWh of energy per annum. Teck Metals will have an option to extend the lease for a further 10 years at comparable rates. "This agreement will further strengthen Teck's balance sheet and provide significant new capital that can be reinvested to grow our overall business," said Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck. "We have secured a long-term power supply for Trail Operations at competitive, below-market pricing and will invest in innovative projects to further enhance and modernize this facility." "Waneta is a high-quality, renewable energy facility located in an area central to our BC operations, making this acquisition a natural fit with our strategy to increase our investment in sustainable energy," said Mr. Barry Perry, President and CEO of Fortis. "Waneta will be a stable long-term asset that will generate strong cash flows secured by a 20-year lease with Teck. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings per share." Teck expects to realize a net book gain of approximately $800 million on the closing of the transaction. No cash tax will be payable on the proceeds. Since 2012, Teck has invested approximately $525 million at Trail Operations in projects to improve efficiency, productivity and environmental performance. In addition, Teck has committed $174 million for a second new acid plant which is currently under construction and scheduled to be operational in summer 2019. Teck has also identified, and is currently evaluating, a further $150 million in new projects to improve profitability, productivity and environmental performance over the next five years. The acquisition of the Waneta Dam, located in the centre of FortisBC's territory, demonstrates Fortis' commitment to and confidence in British Columbia. FortisBC has longstanding roots in the area that span more than a century with FortisBC employing approximately 350 workers in the Kootenay region. In addition to operating four of its own generating facilities on the Kootenay River, FortisBC currently operates and maintains Waneta and the Waneta Expansion. The Waneta Dam will operate as a non-regulated energy infrastructure subsidiary of Fortis Inc. Fortis will finance the transaction through a combination of cash on hand, debt and equity. Closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions, including receipt of certain approvals and consents. In addition, BC Hydro, which owns one-third of the Waneta Dam assets and currently receives one-third of the Waneta Dam generation, has a right of first offer with respect to the sale of Teck's two-third interest under the 2010 co-ownership and operating agreement between Teck Metals and BC Hydro in relation to Waneta. In addition, certain consents and amendments from BC Hydro are required in connection with the transaction. Teck will pay a break fee to Fortis in the event BC Hydro exercises its right of first offer. Closing is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2017. CIBC World Markets Inc. is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Teck Resources with respect to the transaction. The Waneta Dam, located on the Pend d'Oreille River, has a total capacity of 496 megawatts (MW) of renewable power and generates an average of 2,750 gigawatt hours of energy per year. Teck's Trail Operations utilizes approximately 1,880 gigawatt hours of energy per year from Waneta. BC Hydro has a one-third ownership interest in Waneta and receives approximately one-third of the Waneta Dam generation. Fortis holds a 51% interest in the Waneta Expansion, completed in 2015. This project added 335 MW of new clean power generation from a second powerhouse downstream of the dam. The Waneta Dam is governed by the Canal Plant Agreement ("CPA"), a contractual arrangement between BC Hydro, FortisBC and other plant owners along the Kootenay and Pend d'Oreille rivers. The CPA enables the parties, through the coordinated use of water flows and coordinated operation of storage reservoirs and generating plants, to generate more power collectively from their respective generating plants than if they were to operate independently. Teck's two-thirds interest in the Waneta Dam output is defined and determined in accordance with the terms of the CPA. The CPA mitigates hydrology risk for the Waneta Dam. Also included in this acquisition is the Line 71 transmission line and other local transmission assets. This line enables access to the U.S. power import/export market. Teck's Trail Operations, located in southeastern British Columbia, is one of the world's largest fully integrated zinc and lead smelting and refining complexes. It also produces a variety of precious and specialty metals, chemicals and fertilizer products. Over half of the product refined at Trail Operations comes from Teck mines. In 2016, Trail Operations produced and sold 312,000 tonnes of refined zinc and generated $2.05 billion in revenues and $241 million in gross profit before depreciation and amortization. Fortis is a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry with total assets of approximately $48 billion. The Corporation's 8,000 employees serve utility customers in five Canadian provinces, nine U.S. states and three Caribbean countries. Fortis shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com, www.sedar.com, or www.sec.gov. Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, steelmaking coal, zinc and energy. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols TECK.A and TECK.B and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TECK. Learn more about Teck at www.teck.com or follow @TeckResources. Fortis and Teck include forward-looking information in this release within the meaning of applicable securities laws including the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Wherever possible, words such as "anticipates", "believes", "budgets", "could", "estimates", "expects", "forecasts", "intends", "may", "might", "plans", "projects", "schedule", "should", "target", "will", "would" and the negative of these terms and other similar terminology or expressions have been used to identify the forward-looking information, which includes with respect to Fortis, without limitation: statements related to the acquisition of an interest in the Waneta Dam and related transmission assets; the expected timing and benefits thereof; the total expected consideration and adjustments; the conditions precedent to the closing, including receipt of certain approvals and consents; and the expected financing of the acquisition. Forward-looking information with respect to Teck includes, without limitation: statements related to the sale of an interest in the Waneta Dam and related transmission assets and lease of an interest therein, expected benefits of the transaction, amount of the expected net book gain, timing of completion of the second acid plant at Trail Operations, potential for new projects at Trail Operations and potential benefits thereof, the conditions precedent to the closing, including receipt of certain approvals. Forward-looking information involves significant risk, uncertainties and assumptions. Certain material factors or assumptions have been applied in drawing the conclusions contained in the forward-looking information. These factors or assumptions are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally, including those identified from time to time in the forward-looking information. Such risk factors or assumptions include, but are not limited to: the ability to obtain the required approvals in connection with the acquisition and the timing and terms thereof; risks associated with the uncertainty of the completion of the acquisition and the timing thereof; the risk that BC Hydro exercises its pre-emptive right; interloper risk; the risk that conditions to the acquisition may not be satisfied; risk associated with the impact of less favorable economic conditions on Fortis' and Teck's results of operations; currency exchange rates and general economic, market and political conditions. In addition, with respect to Teck, assumptions regarding new projects at Trail Operations and their benefits assume such projects are approved and perform as anticipated. Fortis and Teck caution readers that a number of factors could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the results discussed or implied in their forward-looking information. These factors should be considered carefully and undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking information. For additional information with respect to certain of these risks relating to Fortis, reference should be made to the continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time by Fortis with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fortis disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. For additional information with respect to certain of these risks relating to Teck, reference should be made to the continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time by Teck with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Teck does not assume the obligation to revise or update forward-looking statements after the date of this release or to revise them to reflect the occurrence of future unanticipated events, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND--(Marketwired - May 12, 2017) - Fortis Inc. ("Fortis"), (TSX:FTS)(NYSE:FTS) and Teck Resources Limited ("Teck"), (TSX:TECK.A)(TSX:TECK.B)(NYSE:TECK) today announced an agreement under which Fortis will purchase Teck's two-thirds interest in the Waneta Dam and related transmission assets in British Columbia, Canada, for $1.2 billion cash. Under the agreement, Teck Metals Ltd. ("Teck Metals") will be granted a 20-year lease to use Fortis' two-thirds interest in Waneta to produce power for its industrial operations in Trail ("Trail Operations"). Annual payments will begin at approximately $75 million per year and escalate at 2% per annum, equivalent to an initial power price of $40/MWh based on 1,880 GWh of energy per annum. Teck Metals will have an option to extend the lease for a further 10 years at comparable rates. "This agreement will further strengthen Teck's balance sheet and provide significant new capital that can be reinvested to grow our overall business," said Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck. "We have secured a long-term power supply for Trail Operations at competitive, below-market pricing and will invest in innovative projects to further enhance and modernize this facility." "Waneta is a high-quality, renewable energy facility located in an area central to our BC operations, making this acquisition a natural fit with our strategy to increase our investment in sustainable energy," said Mr. Barry Perry, President and CEO of Fortis. "Waneta will be a stable long-term asset that will generate strong cash flows secured by a 20-year lease with Teck. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings per share." Teck expects to realize a net book gain of approximately $800 million on the closing of the transaction. No cash tax will be payable on the proceeds. Since 2012, Teck has invested approximately $525 million at Trail Operations in projects to improve efficiency, productivity and environmental performance. In addition, Teck has committed $174 million for a second new acid plant which is currently under construction and scheduled to be operational in summer 2019. Teck has also identified, and is currently evaluating, a further $150 million in new projects to improve profitability, productivity and environmental performance over the next five years. The acquisition of the Waneta Dam, located in the centre of FortisBC's territory, demonstrates Fortis' commitment to and confidence in British Columbia. FortisBC has longstanding roots in the area that span more than a century with FortisBC employing approximately 350 workers in the Kootenay region. In addition to operating four of its own generating facilities on the Kootenay River, FortisBC currently operates and maintains Waneta and the Waneta Expansion. The Waneta Dam will operate as a non-regulated energy infrastructure subsidiary of Fortis Inc. Fortis will finance the transaction through a combination of cash on hand, debt and equity. Closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions, including receipt of certain approvals and consents. In addition, BC Hydro, which owns one-third of the Waneta Dam assets and currently receives one-third of the Waneta Dam generation, has a right of first offer with respect to the sale of Teck's two-third interest under the 2010 co-ownership and operating agreement between Teck Metals and BC Hydro in relation to Waneta. In addition, certain consents and amendments from BC Hydro are required in connection with the transaction. Teck will pay a break fee to Fortis in the event BC Hydro exercises its right of first offer. Closing is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2017. CIBC World Markets Inc. is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Teck Resources with respect to the transaction. The Waneta Dam, located on the Pend d'Oreille River, has a total capacity of 496 megawatts (MW) of renewable power and generates an average of 2,750 gigawatt hours of energy per year. Teck's Trail Operations utilizes approximately 1,880 gigawatt hours of energy per year from Waneta. BC Hydro has a one-third ownership interest in Waneta and receives approximately one-third of the Waneta Dam generation. Fortis holds a 51% interest in the Waneta Expansion, completed in 2015. This project added 335 MW of new clean power generation from a second powerhouse downstream of the dam. The Waneta Dam is governed by the Canal Plant Agreement ("CPA"), a contractual arrangement between BC Hydro, FortisBC and other plant owners along the Kootenay and Pend d'Oreille rivers. The CPA enables the parties, through the coordinated use of water flows and coordinated operation of storage reservoirs and generating plants, to generate more power collectively from their respective generating plants than if they were to operate independently. Teck's two-thirds interest in the Waneta Dam output is defined and determined in accordance with the terms of the CPA. The CPA mitigates hydrology risk for the Waneta Dam. Also included in this acquisition is the Line 71 transmission line and other local transmission assets. This line enables access to the U.S. power import/export market. Teck's Trail Operations, located in southeastern British Columbia, is one of the world's largest fully integrated zinc and lead smelting and refining complexes. It also produces a variety of precious and specialty metals, chemicals and fertilizer products. Over half of the product refined at Trail Operations comes from Teck mines. In 2016, Trail Operations produced and sold 312,000 tonnes of refined zinc and generated $2.05 billion in revenues and $241 million in gross profit before depreciation and amortization. Fortis is a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry with total assets of approximately $48 billion. The Corporation's 8,000 employees serve utility customers in five Canadian provinces, nine U.S. states and three Caribbean countries. Fortis shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com, www.sedar.com, or www.sec.gov. Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, steelmaking coal, zinc and energy. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols TECK.A and TECK.B and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TECK. Learn more about Teck at www.teck.com or follow @TeckResources. Fortis and Teck include forward-looking information in this release within the meaning of applicable securities laws including the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Wherever possible, words such as "anticipates", "believes", "budgets", "could", "estimates", "expects", "forecasts", "intends", "may", "might", "plans", "projects", "schedule", "should", "target", "will", "would" and the negative of these terms and other similar terminology or expressions have been used to identify the forward-looking information, which includes with respect to Fortis, without limitation: statements related to the acquisition of an interest in the Waneta Dam and related transmission assets; the expected timing and benefits thereof; the total expected consideration and adjustments; the conditions precedent to the closing, including receipt of certain approvals and consents; and the expected financing of the acquisition. Forward-looking information with respect to Teck includes, without limitation: statements related to the sale of an interest in the Waneta Dam and related transmission assets and lease of an interest therein, expected benefits of the transaction, amount of the expected net book gain, timing of completion of the second acid plant at Trail Operations, potential for new projects at Trail Operations and potential benefits thereof, the conditions precedent to the closing, including receipt of certain approvals. Forward-looking information involves significant risk, uncertainties and assumptions. Certain material factors or assumptions have been applied in drawing the conclusions contained in the forward-looking information. These factors or assumptions are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally, including those identified from time to time in the forward-looking information. Such risk factors or assumptions include, but are not limited to: the ability to obtain the required approvals in connection with the acquisition and the timing and terms thereof; risks associated with the uncertainty of the completion of the acquisition and the timing thereof; the risk that BC Hydro exercises its pre-emptive right; interloper risk; the risk that conditions to the acquisition may not be satisfied; risk associated with the impact of less favorable economic conditions on Fortis' and Teck's results of operations; currency exchange rates and general economic, market and political conditions. In addition, with respect to Teck, assumptions regarding new projects at Trail Operations and their benefits assume such projects are approved and perform as anticipated. Fortis and Teck caution readers that a number of factors could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the results discussed or implied in their forward-looking information. These factors should be considered carefully and undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking information. For additional information with respect to certain of these risks relating to Fortis, reference should be made to the continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time by Fortis with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fortis disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. For additional information with respect to certain of these risks relating to Teck, reference should be made to the continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time by Teck with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Teck does not assume the obligation to revise or update forward-looking statements after the date of this release or to revise them to reflect the occurrence of future unanticipated events, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.


News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: www.mining-journal.com

Teck Resources (CN:TECK.A) has agreed to sell its two-thirds interest in the Waneta Dam hydroelectric power facility in British Columbia to utility group, Fortis (US:FTS), for C$1.2 billion (US$877 million) in cash, which the miner says will further strengthen the balance sheet and be reinvested into the overall business. Waneta Dam on the Pend d’Oreille River generates some 2,750GWh of energy per annum, of which Teck uses about 1,880GWh for its Trail operations – one of the world’s largest fully-integrated zinc and lead smelting and refining complexes. Trail last year produced 312,000 tonnes of refined zinc for C$2.05 billion in revenue and C$241 million in gross profit. The agreement would see Teck subsidiary Teck Metals granted a 20-year lease to use the power generation capacity sold to Fortis to continue supplying Trail. Annual payments are set to start at around C$75 million, rising 2% per annum, equivalent to an initial power price of C$40/MWh based on 1,880 GWhpa of energy. Teck will have an option to extend the lease for another 10 years at “comparable rates”. Teck chief executive Don Lindsay said the deal secured long-term power supply for Trail at “competitive, below-market pricing” while allowing the miner to spend on “innovative projects to further enhance and modernise this facility”.” Teck expects to realise a net book gain of some C$800 million on the deal, which is subject to “customary” conditions. However, one potential hiccup to the agreement may be an existing first right of refusal over Teck’s stake held by BC Hydro, which owns the other third of Waneta Dam. BMO Capital Markets analyst Alex Terentiew consented the deal would bolster Teck’s balance sheet and provide opportunities to spend the extra cash, but countered that additional costs at Trail and removal of infrastructure assets from the company’s portfolio meant the news was net neutral to its valuation. “While Teck received C$1.2 billion, Trail will pay C$75 million per annum, which reduces our NAV for Trail by C$672 million, which, in addition to removing the $500 million in value we previously placed on Waneta Dam, largely offsets the C$1.2 billion in sale proceeds,” he said in a note early this week. Further, he was not expecting any exciting new projects to be announced on the back of the cash injection. “With US$4.7 billion capex guided by Teck for [the Quebrada Blanca phase two project in Chile] and Teck’s ultimate ownership of the project (currently 76.5%, but responsible for 85% of spending) yet to be determined, we expect Teck hold on to its cash.”


News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - May 15, 2017) - Conifex Timber Inc. ("Conifex", "we" or "us") (TSX:CFF) today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. Adjusted EBITDA* in the first quarter of 2017 was $6.1 million, compared to $9.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $6.8 million in the first quarter of 2016. Compared to the previous quarter, lumber segment adjusted EBITDA declined by $1.0 million and bioenergy segment adjusted EBITDA by $1.6 million. Compared to the first quarter of 2016, lumber segment adjusted EBITDA improved by $0.6 million and bioenergy segment adjusted EBITDA declined by $1.4 million. Selected financial and operating highlights for each of the comparison periods are provided below. *Adjusted EBITDA is calculated to exclude unusual items or items that are not ongoing and do not reflect ongoing operations of the Company. The Company's adjusted EBITDA calculation represents earnings before finance costs, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and gains or losses from asset sales, disposals or revaluation and the net proceeds from our business interruption insurance claim settlement. The Company discloses EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin as they are measures used by analysts and by Conifex's management to evaluate the Company's performance. As EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin are non-GAAP measures, it may not be comparable to EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin calculated by others and is not a substitute for net earnings. Revenues of $100.3 million in the first quarter of 2017 were generally consistent with the comparative quarters. First quarter lumber segment operating income of $1.8 million represented a decline of $1.1 million from the prior quarter and an improvement of $0.6 million over the first quarter of 2016. The bioenergy segment contributed operating earnings of $1.3 million in the current quarter compared to $5.2 million in the previous quarter and $2.6 million in the same quarter last year. Bioenergy segment operating income for the previous quarter included net proceeds of $2.5 million from the settlement of a business interruption insurance claim. Corporate costs of $1.6 million were similar to the prior quarter and increased by $0.8 million over the first quarter of 2016, during which we recorded a positive adjustment related to compensation related provisions. Excluding the gain from the net proceeds of the insurance settlement in 2016, operating earnings were $1.5 million for the current quarter compared to $4.2 million in the previous quarter and $3.0 million in the first quarter of 2016. Net loss for the first quarter of 2017 was $1.4 million, or $0.06 per basic share, compared to net income of $5.1 million or $0.24 per basic and diluted share in the previous quarter and net income of $28.5 million or $1.35 per basic and $1.24 diluted share in the first quarter of 2016. Net income for the first quarter of 2016 included a net gain on the sale of assets of $29.0 million resulting from the redemption of our outstanding payment-in-kind note. Excluding this unusual item and the aforementioned gain on settlement of the insurance claim, normalized net income was $2.6 million in the previous quarter and net loss was $0.5 million in the first quarter of 2016. Lumber segment adjusted EBITDA was $5.1 million in the first quarter of 2017 compared to $6.1 million in the previous quarter and $4.5 million in the first quarter of 2016. Prices for the bell-weather WSPF #2 & Btr product averaged US$345 during the first quarter of 2017, an improvement of 9% over the previous quarter and 27% over the first quarter of 2016.(1) The Canadian dollar strengthened against the U.S. dollar during the first quarter of 2017 and averaged US$0.756, an appreciation of 1% over the previous quarter and 4% over the same quarter last year.(2) Revenue from Conifex produced lumber was $56.7 million in the first quarter of 2017. The decline of 8% from the previous quarter was mostly attributable to 11% lower shipment volumes which were somewhat offset by an improvement in sales realizations. Lumber shipments were hampered by lower production volumes and challenging weather conditions which constrained availability of railcars and trucks in Western Canada. The gain in sales realizations generally reflected stronger benchmark lumber prices. Lumber revenues were relatively flat compared to the same quarter last year as an improvement in sales realizations of 14% was largely offset by lower shipment volumes. The higher sales realizations in the most recent quarter were due primarily to stronger benchmark prices which were somewhat offset by a stronger Canadian currency. The increase in wholesale lumber revenues of approximately 14% over the comparative quarters was largely attributable to gains in sales realizations as shipment volumes were similar in each quarter. The improvement in sales realization is attributable to higher lumber prices and favorable variation in product mix. Lumber production totalled 124 million board feet during the first quarter of 2017 and represented an annualized operating rate of 94% compared to 90% in the previous quarter and 103% in the same quarter last year. Production in the first quarter of 2017 and the previous quarter was reduced by planned downtime taken in late December at the Mackenzie sawmill for an upgrade of the log line, and the completion and ramp up of the new log line in the current quarter and to a lesser extent, was hampered by inclement weather conditions. Unit log costs increased by 4% over the previous quarter and 15% over the same quarter last year. The higher log costs were mainly attributable to higher market based stumpage and purchased log costs. Unit cash conversion costs increased by 6% from the previous quarter as the benefits of an improved operating rate were more than offset by higher energy, labour and weather related maintenance costs. An increase in unit cash conversion costs of 17% over the first quarter of 2016 was due primarily to lower operating rates and higher energy costs. The lumber segment recorded operating income of $1.8 million in the first quarter of 2017 compared to $2.9 million in the previous quarter and $1.2 million in the first quarter of 2016. Compared to the previous quarter, lumber segment operating results were impeded by lower shipment volumes and higher unit manufacturing costs which outweighed the benefit of improved sales realizations from higher benchmark lumber prices. Compared to the first quarter of 2016, current quarter operating results were adversely impacted by higher unit manufacturing costs and lower revenues from residual sales. The impact of revenues from Conifex produced lumber were neutral as improved sales realizations largely offset the impact of lower shipment volumes. (1) As quoted in Random Lengths Publications Inc. Our power generation plant (the "Mackenzie Plant") sold 46.3 gigawatt hours of electricity under our Electricity Purchase Agreement with BC Hydro ("EPA") and operated at approximately 85% of targeted operating rates in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 97% in the previous quarter and 100% in the first quarter of 2016. Electricity sales and plant operating costs in the first quarter of 2017 were adversely impacted by several unplanned outages and challenging weather conditions earlier in the quarter, which impacted feedstock quality and deliverability. The unplanned outages contributed to increased maintenance related expenses, including the use of outside service contractors. Electricity revenues were lower by $0.8 million compared to the previous quarter and $0.9 million compared to the first quarter of 2016, and cash operating costs were higher by $0.8 million and $0.5 million, respectively. Bioenergy segment adjusted EBITDA was lower by $1.6 million compared to the previous quarter and $1.4 million compared to the same quarter last year and reflected adjusted EBITDA margin of 41% compared to approximately 56% in the comparative quarters. Adjusted EBITDA margin is defined as adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of sales. The EPA, similar to other electricity purchase agreements, provides BC Hydro with the option to "turn down" electricity purchased from independent power producers during periods of low demand by issuing a "dispatch order" outlining the requested dispatch period. In April 2017, BC Hydro issued a dispatch order with respect to, among others, the Plant advising of a dispatch period of 122 days, encompassing the months of April, June, July and August. Last year, the Mackenzie Plant, among others, was dispatched for 61 days in the second quarter. During the dispatch period, we will only produce electricity to fulfill volume commitments under our Load Displacement Agreement with BC Hydro. We will continue to be paid revenues based upon a reduced rate and on volumes that are generally reflective of contracted amounts. Although the dispatch period is similar to the dispatch period in the same quarter of 2016, we expect year-over-year operating results to be somewhat lower in the second quarter of 2017 due to planned maintenance days. We expect an improvement in year-over-year operating results in the third quarter of 2017, as operating results in the third quarter of last year were hampered by maintenance downtime. The Mackenzie Plant achieved average hourly production of 105% of our operating target over the first twelve months of commercial operations. We expect the improvements to be made during the planned maintenance days in June 2017 will result in operating rates approaching historic levels. Commenting on our first quarter results, Conifex's President and Chief Executive Officer, Ken Shields, said, "Our first quarter of 2017 results do not reflect normal ongoing operations. Our results were held back by a major capital project installation and ramp up which reduced lumber production and shipments, and reduced the availability of quality feedstock for our power generation business. Power generation and lumber production targets are being achieved in the second quarter." Our net debt to capitalization ratio was 41% at March 31, 2017 compared to 38% at December 31, 2016. Net debt at March 31, 2017 was $131.6 million, an increase of $22.8 million from December 31, 2016. The quarter over quarter increase was due primarily to a seasonal increase in non-cash working capital of $14.4 million and capital expenditures related to the El Dorado Mill, partially offset by net proceeds from our early financings completed in the quarter. Excluding the effects of borrowings by our subsidiary, Conifex Power Limited Partnership, which are non-recourse to our other operations, the net debt to capitalization ratio was 24% compared to 16% at December 31, 2016. In January, 2017, we completed the $130 million secured revolving credit facility (the "Credit Facility") with a syndicate of institutional lenders. The Credit Facility is available for a term of 5 years and is secured by substantially all of our assets, other than our bioenergy segment assets. The Credit Facility bears interest at CDOR or LIBOR plus a margin of between 2.5% and 3.0%, depending upon our leverage ratio. The Credit Facility provides for calculation of availability on an expanded borrowing base, relative to our previous lumber segment revolving credit facilities, which enhances liquidity. Total liquidity was $61.6 million at March 31, 2017 compared to $22.2 million at December 31, 2016. Through the remainder of 2017, we expect benchmark lumber prices for Western SPF to average approximately 10% higher than the levels achieved in the first quarter of 2017. We expect the imposition of duties on U.S. lumber shipments will lead to greater volatility in pricing and erode a portion of the increase in mill nets resulting from higher prices. We expect prices on the premium grade and lower grade products shipped to Japan and China, respectively, will be primarily determined by traditional supply and demand factors and will not be materially impacted by duties imposed by the U.S. We expect demand and pricing to continue to remain solid in the Japanese and Chinese markets through the balance of the year. We expect our mill net price realizations from the sale of construction grade lumber to the Canadian and other non-U.S. markets will be somewhat discounted as a result of the duty impositions on U.S. exports. In the lumber segment, we expect a sequential improvement in lumber shipments as weather related transportation delays are largely alleviated and lumber inventories return to normalized levels. We expect higher operating rates for the balance of the year due to the completion in the current quarter of the ramp up phase of the new log line at Mackenzie and improved weather conditions. We expect productivity gains to result in lower quarter-over-quarter unit conversion costs. Overall in 2017, we expect higher log costs and modest improvements in unit cash conversion costs and grade outturns. Upon completion of the Credit Facility in January 2017, we commenced the construction phase of our capital project to modernize and re-start our El Dorado Mill (the "Project"). Upon completion, the Project is planned to incorporate significant capital upgrades to the log processing yard and sawmill and planer and add two continuous dry kilns. The Project has been designed to maximize both log recovery and lumber grade yield and quality. Upon completion, the El Dorado Mill is expected to have approximately 180 million board feet of annual lumber capacity on a two-shift basis. We expect to complete the Project by or about the end of the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of this year. We currently estimate that the Project will require capital expenditures of approximately US$50 million, consisting of approximately US$27 million for equipment and materials, US$16 million in subcontract costs and US$7 million for indirect costs, including engineering, construction management, freight and project contingency. At March 31, 2017, approximately 57% of budgeted expenditures had been committed. The Project is currently within management's budgeted amounts and progressing as scheduled. We will hold a conference call on Monday, May 15, 2016 at 8:00 AM Pacific time/ 11:00 AM Eastern time to discuss the first quarter financial and operating results. To participate in the call, please dial 416-340-8527 or toll free 800-396-7098. The call will also be available on instant replay access until May 28, 2017 by dialling 905-694-9451 or 800-408-3053 and entering participant pass code 9013291#. The Company's management's discussion and analysis and financial statements for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 will be available under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Conifex and its subsidiaries' primary business currently includes timber harvesting, reforestation, forest management, sawmilling logs into lumber and wood chips, and value added lumber finishing and distribution. Conifex's lumber products are sold in the United States, Chinese, Canadian and Japanese markets. Conifex has expanded its operations to include bioenergy production following the commencement of commercial operations of its power generation facility at Mackenzie, British Columbia. Certain statements in this news release may constitute "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements are statements that address or discuss activities, events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates may occur in the future. When used in this news release, words such as "estimates", "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "projects", "will", "believes", "intends" "should", "could", "may" and other similar terminology are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect the current expectations and beliefs of the Company's management. Because forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, actual results, performance or achievements of the Company or industry may be materially different from those implied by such forward-looking statements. Examples of such forward-looking information that may be contained in this news release include statements regarding: growth and future prospects of our business; our perceptions of the industry and markets in which we operate and anticipated trends in such markets and in the countries in which we do business; planned capital expenditures and benefits that may accrue to the Company as a result of capital expenditure programs; U.S. benchmark lumber prices; our expectation for market volatility and the impact of duties associated with the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S.; unit cash conversion costs; the Company's net debt to capitalization ratio; the Company's expectations regarding the operation of the Mackenzie Plant; the Company's expectations regarding improvements in bioenergy segment revenues; and the anticipated benefits, cost, timing and completion dates for projects, including the Project and the recording of any revenues therefrom. Assumptions underlying the Company's expectations regarding forward-looking information contained in this news release include, among others: that the Company will be able to effectively market its products; that the U.S. housing market will continue to improve; that there will be no disruptions affecting the operations of the power generation project at the Company's Mackenzie facility and that the Company will be able to achieve timely delivery of power therefrom; that softwood lumber will experience sustained demand in the marketplace; the general stability of the economic, political and regulatory environments within the countries where the Company conducts operations; the ability of the Company to obtain financing (if necessary) on acceptable terms or at all, including with respect to the El Dorado sawmill complex; that interest and foreign exchange rates will not vary materially from current levels; that the equipment at our mills and power generation facility will operate at expected levels; the El Dorado sawmill complex can be completed on our planned budget and time; and that management will effectively execute the Company's strategy to grow and add value to its business. Forward-looking statements involve significant uncertainties, should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be an accurate indication of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: those relating to potential disruptions to production and delivery, including as a result of equipment failures, labour issues, the complex integration of processes and equipment and other factors; labour relations; failure to meet regulatory requirements; changes in the market; potential downturns in economic conditions; fluctuations in the price and supply of required materials, including log costs; fluctuations in the market price for products sold; foreign exchange fluctuations; trade restrictions or import duties imposed by foreign governments; availability of financing (as necessary); shipping or logging disruptions; and other risk factors described in the Company's 2015 annual information form, available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. These risks, as well as others, could cause actual results and events to vary significantly. Accordingly, readers should exercise caution in relying upon forward-looking statements and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise them to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by law.


News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - May 16, 2017) - The Association for Mineral Exploration ("AME" or the "Association") is pleased to announce that Edie Thome has been appointed as President & CEO of the Association, effective June 19, 2017. Edie Thome brings a wealth of experience in government relations, permitting and public affairs as well as on-the-ground experience working with stakeholders, First Nations, elected officials and land owners on projects in the resource sector. Through her work, she is familiar with advocacy efforts at both the provincial and federal levels and, specifically, how the legislative and regulatory framework can support or hinder productive, responsible resource development within British Columbia and Canada. Most recently, Edie was Director - Environment, Permitting and Compliance, Aboriginal Relations and Public Affairs at BC Hydro, responsible for permitting and compliance, Aboriginal relations and public affairs for the Site C Clean Energy Project. Prior to that she worked in risk management, environment, operations and customer service for BC Hydro. Her management experience also includes 4½ years as Vice President, Customer Service, Airport Operations and Corporate Communications for Harmony Airways. Edie brings a keen understanding of leadership in an industry association, gained through her service since 2014 as Chair of the Board of the Canadian Hydropower Association ("CHA"), a national, non-profit organization, comprised of nearly 50 members -- spanning hydropower producers, manufacturers, developers and engineering firms to individuals. Like AME, CHA leverages the strength and skills of a diverse and accomplished membership to achieve the goals set forth in its strategic plan. "On behalf of the Board of Directors and the AME Staff, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Edie Thome as AME's incoming President & CEO," said Diane Nicolson, Chair of AME. "Edie's qualities and background demonstrate that she is capable of understanding and balancing the many aspects and interests of our industry and focusing on those matters that are most critical to our members. She has a strong commitment to building relationships through collaboration and transparency. With her experience in stakeholder engagement and government affairs as well as association management, she is well-positioned to lead AME as it continues to work with First Nations, local communities and government in ensuring mineral discoveries can be advanced and developed into new mines, providing important economic opportunities here in British Columbia and around the world. We look forward to her leadership in representing our industry." AME is the lead association for the mineral exploration and development industry based in British Columbia. Established in 1912, AME represents, advocates, protects and promotes the interests of thousands of members who are engaged in mineral exploration and development in British Columbia and throughout the world. AME encourages a safe, economically strong and environmentally responsible industry by providing clear initiatives, policies, events and tools to support its membership.


News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

RICHMOND, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vancouver International Airport (YVR) continues to be a leader in airport sustainability with the installation of a new state-of-the-art LED lighting system to its airfield leveraging incentives from BC Hydro. The new lighting system by Musco Lighting significantly reduces YVR’s power consumption, expands lighting coverage and increases safety for pilots, air traffic controllers and ground crews. This marks the first time an airport in North America is using an adaptive dimming system based upon gate usage. “Our primary objective is to operate and maintain a safe, secure and sustainable airport. The new apron lighting system significantly reduces YVR’s energy consumption, while streamlining operations and improving safety with improved coverage, reduced glare and increased lighting levels. It’s a win-win situation,” said Don Ehrenholz, Vice President, Engineering, Vancouver Airport Authority. “We will continue to work collaboratively to find innovative ways to reduce energy consumption as we strive for environmental excellence.” The LED lighting was retrofitted onto YVR’s existing structures, gives a more uniform distribution and features patented glare control technology so that high-quality light is applied only where needed and darkness is preserved where light is not intended. This improves operational efficiency by eliminating glare. Musco’s LED solution is designed as a complete system, with lighting, structural components like custom support brackets and electrical components engineered to work together. The system was factory aimed, wired and tested. This ensures better performance, long-term reliability and trouble free operation at YVR. The system is backed by a long-term warranty that covers parts and labor, guaranteeing no additional costs for the next 10 years. “Every lighting project is unique. Lighting airports brings a number of additional considerations, and at an airport with the size and scope of YVR, the challenges are even more extensive. So this has been a milestone project, and the team at YVR has been outstanding to work with,” said Jeff Rogers, Vice President of Musco Lighting. “When you see the quality of light, the uniform distribution, the virtual elimination of glare and the cut off preserving darkness around YVR, it’s really impressive.” The new apron lighting is adaptive based on gate usage, meaning that lighting levels will increase and decrease based on the gate schedule in order to save power when not in use. It is expected to save 715,000 kWhrs/year, which is the equivalent of powering 72 residential households per year. BC Hydro provided incentives for the project through its Industrial Energy Manager program which YVR has participated in for over ten years. “We applaud YVR for their continuous commitment to demonstrating leadership in strategic energy management through innovative and collaborative projects and partnerships, like our Industrial Energy Manager program,” said Janet Fraser, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at BC Hydro. “We are pleased that the incentives we provided have contributed to a successful project that will enable YVR to save energy, operate efficiently, and increase safety at its facility.” YVR's 2015-2019 Environmental Management Plan has four strategic priorities with corresponding goals, targets and baselines that influence the sustainable growth and development of YVR. These strategic priorities aim to: reduce greenhouse gas emissions; reduce waste; reduce potable water consumption; and improve ecosystem health. As part of this plan, YVR developed a long-term energy strategy that aims to reduce energy consumption and invest in alternative energy solutions. Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that manages Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Canada's second busiest airport, YVR served 22.3 million passengers in 2016. Fifty-five airlines serve YVR, connecting people and businesses to more than 125 non-stop destinations worldwide. In 2016, YVR received CAPA Centre for Aviation’s prestigious Airport of the Year Award and was voted Best Airport in North America for the eighth consecutive year in the Skytrax World Airport Awards in 2017. Vancouver Airport Authority is a dedicated community partner and in 2016 donated more than $1,000,000 to local organizations. We are committed to creating an airport that British Columbia can be proud of: a premier global gateway, local economic generator and community contributor. For more information, please visit www.yvr.ca. Since 1976, Musco Lighting has specialized in the design and manufacture of sports and large area lighting solutions around the world. Musco has pioneered systems using metal halide and LED technologies that have made dramatic improvements in energy efficiency and provided affordable ways to control spill light and glare. Permanent and temporary lighting solutions range from neighborhood pitches to Olympic Games. Musco has a global team of experts that partner with customers to plan, complete, and maintain a cost-effective, trouble-free lighting solution for their facility. For more information, visit www.musco.com.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: marketersmedia.com

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / April 18, 2017 / Cliff Grandison, President of Alaska Hydro Corporation (TSX-V: AKH), announced that the Company has engaged Golder Associates Ltd. to prepare a Dam Geotechnical Prefeasibility Design for the Company's More Creek Hydroelectric Power Project. The proposal includes the Review of Previous studies including studies on topography, geology, and BC Hydro's Iskut-Stikine Hydroelectric Development for Iskut Canyon and More Creek Projects. The scope of work also includes a review of Dam Types and Design, including concrete arch, roller compacted concrete, earth fill dam, rock fill, concrete faced rock fill, and central asphalt core rockfill dam. On completion of these studies, construction cost estimates and preferred options will be determined. This study is expected to take four to six weeks to complete. The Company plans to continue with optimization of the project design and economics during the permitting period currently underway, followed by a full bankable feasibility study. For further information, please contact: NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / April 18, 2017 / Cliff Grandison, President of Alaska Hydro Corporation (TSX-V: AKH), announced that the Company has engaged Golder Associates Ltd. to prepare a Dam Geotechnical Prefeasibility Design for the Company's More Creek Hydroelectric Power Project. The proposal includes the Review of Previous studies including studies on topography, geology, and BC Hydro's Iskut-Stikine Hydroelectric Development for Iskut Canyon and More Creek Projects. The scope of work also includes a review of Dam Types and Design, including concrete arch, roller compacted concrete, earth fill dam, rock fill, concrete faced rock fill, and central asphalt core rockfill dam. On completion of these studies, construction cost estimates and preferred options will be determined. This study is expected to take four to six weeks to complete. The Company plans to continue with optimization of the project design and economics during the permitting period currently underway, followed by a full bankable feasibility study. For further information, please contact: NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.accesswire.com

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / April 18, 2017 / Cliff Grandison, President of Alaska Hydro Corporation (TSX-V: AKH), announced that the Company has engaged Golder Associates Ltd. to prepare a Dam Geotechnical Prefeasibility Design for the Company's More Creek Hydroelectric Power Project. The proposal includes the Review of Previous studies including studies on topography, geology, and BC Hydro's Iskut-Stikine Hydroelectric Development for Iskut Canyon and More Creek Projects. The scope of work also includes a review of Dam Types and Design, including concrete arch, roller compacted concrete, earth fill dam, rock fill, concrete faced rock fill, and central asphalt core rockfill dam. On completion of these studies, construction cost estimates and preferred options will be determined. This study is expected to take four to six weeks to complete. The Company plans to continue with optimization of the project design and economics during the permitting period currently underway, followed by a full bankable feasibility study. For further information, please contact: NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES

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