Alterra Power Announces Audited Results for the Year Ended December 31, 2013 and Project Updates

(under IFRS and all amounts in US dollars unless otherwise stated)

TSX : AXY

VANCOUVER, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Alterra Power Corp. (TSX: AXY) ("Alterra" or the "Company") is pleased to report its financial and operating results for the year ended December 31, 2013. For further information on these results please see Alterra's Consolidated Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis.

Alterra consolidates 100% of the results of operations at HS Orka and Soda Lake, while Alterra's interests in the Toba Montrose run of river hydro facility and the Dokie 1 wind facility are accounted for as equity investments. In certain statements in this news release, Alterra's results are disclosed as Alterra's "net interest", which means the effective portion of results that Alterra would have reported if each of HS Orka (66.6%), Toba Montrose (40%), Dokie 1 (51% from January to December 19, 2013 and 25.5% for the remainder of 2013), ABW Solar (10% from August 23, 2013 to November 29, 2013) and Soda Lake (100%) had been reported in accordance with Alterra's actual share of ownership at December 31, 2013 and for the twelve months then ended.  Management believes that net interest reporting provides the clearest view of Alterra's performance.

Highlights for the year include:

  • Increased revenue and recurring net interest EBITDA: Revenue was up 5% to $63.9 million due to a higher level of contracted power sales at HS Orka. Net interest revenue (including business interruption proceeds) was $88.9 million, up 2% from the comparative year, primarily due to the increase in revenue at HS Orka.  Net interest EBITDA was 8% lower at $32.8 million, but would have been 4% higher ($37.2 million) if the non-recurring costs related to the Montrose rockslide that were expensed were excluded.

  • Reliable power generation: Alterra's fleet of power projects generated 1,268,294 MWh of clean power (net interest), achieving 94% of budgeted generation despite the Montrose hydro facility being offline for nearly nine months. Generation would have been 101% of budget had the Montrose plant had been operating for the whole period. Total generation from plants operated by Alterra was 2,156,803 MWh.

  • Positive cash flow: The Company generated cash flow from operations of $16.6 million versus $12.1 million in the comparative period.

  • Strategic asset sales:
    • Dokie 1 partial sale: Alterra sold half of its 51% interest in Dokie 1 to Fiera Axium for $26.8 million plus up to C$2.3 million over the next three years dependent on asset performance. The Company retains a 25.5% ownership of Dokie 1 and continues to operate and manage the project. The Company recognized a pre-tax gain on the sale of $17.5 million in the year.

    • ABW Solar: Alterra sold its 10% interest in the ABW Solar project to Fiera Axium, for proceeds of $9.8 million. The Company recognized a pre-tax gain on the sale of $2.8 million in the year.
  • Montrose facility back in service: Penstock replacement at the Montrose hydro facility was completed and the facility was brought back into service on September 22, 2013. Several site improvements including protective berms have also been completed and will significantly lessen the likelihood of any future damage or interruption.

  • Reykjanes field maintenance program:  The Company commenced a fluid reinjection program at the Reykjanes field to enhance future field stability.  In support of the fluid reinjection program, the Company completed drilling of a new large-diameter well (RN-33) with positive initial indications of permeability. Two new production wells were drilled at the Reykjanes reservoir early in 2013. The first of these wells has been tied in to the power plant and is supplying an additional 6 MW of capacity. Testing of the second well is underway.

  • Distributions received: The Company recognized equity distributions declared during the year from TMGP, DGP, and the Blue Lagoon in the amounts of $0.8 million, $2.0 million, and $1.8 million respectively. In 2013, HS Orka declared a dividend of $1.2 million of which the Company's share was $0.8 million.

  • Jimmie Creek hydro project highlights:
    • Pre-construction activities: Alterra executed a further limited notice to proceed with SNC Lavalin to provide pre-construction design work and other services in preparation to commence construction on the 62 MW Jimmie Creek hydro project in British Columbia in 2014.

    • Power purchase agreement amended: The Company completed an amendment to the power purchase agreement ("PPA") for Jimmie Creek. Under the contract, the project will sell 100% of its power to BC Hydro for 40 years commencing in August 2016.

    • Purchase agreement executed: Alterra completed an agreement in November to purchase the 49% stake of the Jimmie Creek project then held by an affiliate of GE Energy Financial Services ("GE EFS").  On March 6, 2014 the transaction was completed, following which the Company owned 100% of the project.
  • Shannon wind project highlights:
    • Completed acquisition:  Alterra acquired a 10% interest in the Shannon wind project (a 202 MW development-stage wind project in Clay County, Texas, USA), and subsequent to year end acquired the remaining 90% for a small up-front payment and a developer's fee to be paid at financial close.

    • Commencement of construction: In December Alterra completed the construction of the initial phase of turbine foundations and project roads and began construction of the project's main power transformer. These activities are expected to qualify the project for the US Production Tax Credit.

    • Interconnection Security: Subsequent to year end, Alterra placed a $4.5 million cash deposit with the project's transmission provider to begin the design and equipment procurement for the project's interconnection substation.

    • Current activities: The Company is in the process of finalizing project contracts (turbine supply, O&M, etc.), documenting a power hedge for project output, and finalizing terms with tax equity investors. The Company has also entered into an exclusivity agreement with a large energy infrastructure fund as a potential equity partner for the project.
  • South American joint ventures: Alterra finalized its joint venture with Energy Development Corporation ("EDC") for the development of the Mariposa project in Chile and certain geothermal concessions in Peru (the last of which were agreed subsequent to year end). EDC will hold a 70% interest in the projects and fund 100% of the next $58.3 million of project expenditures at Mariposa and the next $14.0 million of project expenditures across the two Peruvian concession groups.

  • Italy joint venture: The Company finalized a joint venture with an affiliate of Graziella Green Power ("Graziella"), an Italian developer of solar and geothermal assets to further advance Alterra's geothermal concessions in Italy.

John Carson, Alterra's CEO, said, "2013 was a year of meeting challenges for Alterra. While we were busy for most of the year completing repairs at our Montrose facility, our team was still able to deliver another solid year of revenue, cash flow, generation and team safety. In 2014, we are already at full speed pursuing our goals of adding new projects and maintaining our track record as a premier renewable energy operator."

Financial Results

The following table shows Alterra's net interest in selected operating and financial results for the year, in addition to key financial information extracted from the consolidated results.

(expressed in thousands of US dollars, except for production)

($000 except where specified)                
                    Exploration
and Head
Office
     
For the 12 months ended
December 31, 2013
HS Orka
(66.6%)
  Toba
Montrose
(40%)
  Dokie 1
(25.5%) (a)
  Soda
Lake
(100%)
  ABW
Solar
(10%) (b)
Net
Interest
  Consolidated
Results
Generation (MWh) 852,528   194,927   151,268   67,512   2,059   —   1,268,294   1,347,584  
Total Revenue 39,512   20,153   16,658   4,545   832   —   81,700   63,872  
Business Interruption Proceeds   7,166         —   7,166   —  
Gross Profit (Loss) 10,156   10,028   7,602   (2,228)   555   —   26,113   13,021  
EBITDA (d) 16,388   15,363   11,371   266   276   (10,885) 32,779   41,044  
                             
($000 except where specified)                  
                      Exploration
and Head
Office
     
For the 12 months ended
December 31, 2012
HS Orka
(66.6%) (c)
  Toba
Montrose
(40%)
  Dokie 1
(51%)
  Soda
Lake
(100%)
  ABW
Solar
(10%)
  Net
Interest
Total
  Consolidated
Results
Generation (MWh) 817,549   264,564   151,667   64,421     —   1,298,201   1,292,008  
Total Revenue 38,367   27,238   17,034   4,406     —   87,045   61,112  
Gross Profit (Loss) 11,904   15,248   6,480   (2,982)     —   30,650   14,524  
EBITDA 15,214   20,463   10,550   (614)     (9,884) 35,729   44,692  

(a)  Reflect 51% interest from January 1, 2013 to December 19, 2013 and 25.5% interest for the remainder of 2013.
(b)  Represent the Company's 10% interest from August 23, 2013 to November 29, 2013.
(c)  Pro forma information which reflects what the results would have been had the Company consolidated 66.6% of HS Orka for the full twelve month period ended December 31, 2012 (versus the actual 75% held through February 29, 2012).
(d) Here and elsewhere, Adjusted EBITDA ("EBITDA") is defined by Alterra as earnings before interest, taxes, foreign exchange, depreciation and amortization, as well as before deductions for change in fair value of bonds payable and derivatives, foreign exchange gain (loss), write off of development costs and goodwill and other income (expense) except business interruption proceeds, amortization of below market contracts, and value assigned to options granted less share of income (loss) of equity accounted investees plus the Company's interest in EBITDA of its equity accounted investees. Alterra discloses EBITDA as it is a measure used by analysts and by management to evaluate Alterra's performance. As EBITDA is a non-IFRS measure, it may not be comparable to EBITDA calculated by others. In addition, as EBITDA is not a substitute for net earnings, readers should consider net earnings in evaluating Alterra's performance. For a reconciliation of consolidated EBITDA to Alterra's consolidated financial statements refer to the Company's Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2013.

Consolidated Results

Revenue was up 5% at $63.9 million due to increased generation and contractual sales at HS Orka. Gross profit decreased to $13.0 million ($14.5 million at December 31, 2012) as the increase in revenue was offset primarily by increased power plant maintenance costs due to the planned cleaning and repair of two geothermal wells at HS Orka.

Net loss increased to $116.3 million, largely as a result of one-time write-offs of development projects as well as other non-cash items, offset in part by gains from the sale of investments and interest from equity accounted joint ventures.  Non-cash items contributing to the loss include:

  • A $21.7 million non-cash loss resulting primarily from the change in the fair value of embedded derivatives related to aluminum-linked PPAs offset in part by a $2.7 million non-cash gain in the fair value of bonds payable.  Both of these movements relate primarily to fluctuations in forecasted aluminum prices which fell in the year by 8%.

  • A $120.5 million write-off of development projects ($1.6 million at December 31, 2012), which included $50.5 million for the Bute Inlet project, $10.6 million for the Upper Toba River project, $2.4 million for other hydro projects and $32.7 million for certain geothermal development properties. There was also a write-off of $24.3 million for select plant and equipment.  The hydro write-offs were related to a decline in the market outlook for renewable energy projects as a result of the new Integrated Resource Plan ("IRP") from the BC Government. An additional write down was recorded for certain HS Orka development projects as a result of a lowered outlook on available power contract pricing.  The Company remains active with these projects and will look to develop them in the future when market outlook improves.

Consolidated cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2013 were $41.7 million ($39.2 million at December 31, 2012) of which $33.9 million is held by HS Orka.

Net Interest Results

Alterra's net interest in revenue remained stable in 2013, with a  2%  increase primarily due to new contractual revenues at HS Orka and the addition of ABW Solar. 2013 EBITDA was consistent with 2012 with the exception of Toba Montrose, where the EBITDA declined by $5.1 million due to non-recurring costs related to the removal of the damaged portion of the penstock plus higher insurance premiums in the period. These rockslide-related events caused net interest in EBITDA to decrease by 8% (down $3.0 million).

The net interest cash position at December 31, 2013 was $38.1 million.

Iceland Operations (66.6% Interest)

The 100 MW Reykjanes plant generated 526,502 MWh of electricity (99% of budget), and the 72 MW Svartsengi plant generated 326,026 MWh of electricity (109% of budget), and continued to supply thermal energy for district heating.

Toba Montrose Operations (40% Interest)

The Toba Montrose facility generated 194,927 MWh of electricity, or 69% of the generation projected for both units running at full service.  Although the Montrose facility was offline for repairs during the majority of the year, the measured water flow for purposes of business interruption insurance payments (attributed generation) was 94,290 MWh, for a combined pro forma generation of 289,217, or 102% of budget.

On December 13, 2012 a rockslide damaged a 300 meter section of the five kilometer penstock (which supplies water from the intake to the power generating plant) at the Montrose hydro facility.  The penstock repairs were completed and the plant resumed operation on September 22, 2013. Several site improvements including protective berms were completed that will significantly lessen the likelihood of any future damage or interruption.

The Company's proportionate share of the insurance proceeds received to date is $15.2 million  ($8.0 million for property damage and $7.2 million for business interruption).  At December 31, 2013 an insurance receivable of $3.4 million was recognized by Toba Montrose, of which $2.9 million currently remains outstanding.   The final $2.5 million property claim is being reviewed with respect to eligible property costs and sub-limits and has not been accrued for at December 31, 2013.

The project renewed its insurance package in September 2013 with earth movement coverage capped at C$50.0 million. As a result, Toba Montrose agreed with its lenders to temporarily defer distributions until a higher level of earth movement coverage is re-established. Toba Montrose expects to obtain a significantly higher level of coverage and is in discussion with the lenders to extinguish the waiver and resume distributions once this coverage is in place.

Dokie 1 Operations (25.5% Interest)

The 144 MW Dokie 1 wind farm generated 151,268 MWh of electricity for the year (reflecting 51% interest from January 1 to December 19, 2013 and 25.5% interest for the remainder of the year), or 91% of budget. Generation is lower than budget due to lower winds in the third quarter.

On December 20, 2013 the Company sold half of its 51% interest in the Dokie 1 wind farm to an affiliate of Fiera Axium Infrastructure, Inc. ("Fiera Axium"), the Company's partner at Dokie 1 and Toba Montrose. The Company received initial sales proceeds of $26.8 million, and may receive further earn-out payments of up to C$2.3 million over the next three years depending on asset performance. The Company retains a 25.5% ownership of Dokie 1 and continues to operate and manage the project. The Company recognized a pre-tax gain on the sale of $17.5 million in the year.

ABW Solar Operations (Sold)

On November 29, 2013 the Company sold its 10% interest in ABW to an affiliate of Fiera Axium for proceeds of $9.8 million, recognizing a pre-tax gain of $2.8 million. The Company had acquired the 10% interest in the ABW Solar project, a 50 MW solar project in Ontario, Canada for $7.1 million in August 2013. The Company was the managing partner for the project, and held the ABW Solar interest together with its partner, GE EFS.

Soda Lake Operations (100% Interest)

The 15 MW Soda Lake geothermal plant generated 67,512 MWh of electricity for the year, or 99% of budget.

Expansion and Development Projects

Jimmie Creek hydro (formerly Upper Toba)

The Company holds 100% interest in the fully permitted 62 MW Jimmie Creek project, and commenced construction activities in March 2014. The Jimmie Creek Project is being delivered under an Engineering, Procurement, Construction Management (EPCM) contract with SNC Lavalin. Project advancements during the year included completion of drilling and seismic testing for the powerhouse and intake locations, further hydrology work and continued construction preparation with project contractors and consultants.

The Jimmie Creek project has a 40 year PPA with BC Hydro, has at a nameplate capacity of 62 MW and projected annual firm energy of 114 GWh.

Shannon wind project

The Company holds a 100% interest in Shannon Wind Holdings LLC, a 202 MW wind project located in Clay County, Texas, USA.

In December 2013, the Company completed certain construction activities to ensure the Shannon wind project will qualify for the U.S. Production Tax Credit, which included contracting with Mortenson to complete the initial phase of on-site construction and contracting with Siemens Energy to begin manufacturing the project's main power transformer.

In February 2014, $4.5 million of cash was deposited with Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC, the project's transmission service provider, which has commenced the design and equipment procurement for the project's interconnection substation.

Contract negotiations for construction, turbine supply, operations and maintenance and other contracts are underway and the Company is working with several financing parties in preparation for closing project financing, which is projected for the second quarter of 2014.

The Company expects to sell electricity generated from the Shannon wind project under a long term power hedging agreement which it is currently in documentation. Subsequent to year end, Alterra entered into an exclusivity agreement with a large energy infrastructure fund as a potential equity partner for the project.

Dokie 2 wind farm expansion

Alterra holds a 51% interest in a planned expansion of the Dokie 1 wind farm (Dokie 2) with projected additions to capacity of up to 156 MW. During the year Alterra continued to collect data, conduct engineering work and perform other studies to complete the assessment of the project.

South American geothermal projects

The Company holds a 30% interest in the Mariposa project in Chile and a 30% interest in a number of early stage development projects in Peru. The remaining 70% interest is held by EDC, who will fund the next $58.3 million in projected expenditures at Mariposa, and $8.0 million and $6.0 million spend respectively under the two Peruvian joint venture agreements. The next major phase of activity at Mariposa is expected to include drilling large-diameter rotary holes to confirm rock permeability, reservoir chemistry, fluid chemistry and other resource parameters in order to finalize plant design. The next steps of development for the Peruvian concessions include advanced exploration activities designed to identify the best locations for power plant development and construction.

Italian geothermal projects

The Company holds a 45% interest in the Mensano and Roccastrada geothermal concessions, the 55% interest is held by Graziella who will fund approximately $4.0 million for the joint venture's next development activities.

Reykjanes Expansion

Alterra has commenced a reinjection program at the Reykjanes field, and will refine the timeline for the Reykjanes expansion pending results from the program. The key matters remaining prior to construction are conclusion of a PPA, completion of project financing and confirmation of the resource field.

Other development projects

During 2013 the Company has continued to perform hydrology studies on the Bute Inlet and other hydro projects and has maintained all existing permits and licenses in good standing.  The Company will continue to collect hydrology data and maintain all projects in good standing despite writing down these projects to nil for accounting purposes in the year, and will look to develop these projects in the future when market outlook improves.

In Iceland, Alterra began an environmental assessment on the Bulandsvirkjun hydroelectric project, which is owned 50% by HS Orka.

Outlook

Ross Beaty, Alterra's Chairman, said, "2013 was a challenging year for us due to a weaker power outlook in BC where so many of our development projects are located, and the knock-on effects from the rockslide at Montrose in late 2012. At year-end we decided to write off most of the historic costs carried on our books for most of our development projects while retaining our interest in these projects for when conditions recover in the future allowing their development. Today, Montrose is back in operation and we have shifted our development efforts to Texas where things look very promising at our 200 MW Shannon wind project and where power markets remain strong. We have an exceptional team and adequate financial capacity to manage our growth, and I look forward to excellent results as 2014 progresses."

Alterra Power will host a conference call to discuss financial and operating results on Friday, March 28, 2014 at 11:30 am ET (8:30 am PT).

North American participants dial 1-888-390-0546 and International participants dial 1-416-764-8688; the conference ID is 73147598.

The call will also be broadcast live on the Internet at
http://www.newswire.ca/en/webcast/detail/1312591/1449113

The call will be available for replay for one week after the call by dialing 1-416-764-8677 and entering replay PIN 147598.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements and Information
Certain statements included in this news release may contain information that is forward-looking within the meaning of certain securities laws, including information and statements regarding prospective results of operations, financial position, cash flows or growth potential.  These statements are based on factors or assumptions that were applied in drawing a conclusion or making a forecast or projection, including assumptions based on historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments. Since forward-looking statements relate to future events and conditions, by their very nature they require making assumptions and involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Alterra cautions that although it is believed that the assumptions are reasonable in the circumstances, these risks and uncertainties give rise to the possibility that actual results may differ materially from the expectations set out in the forward-looking statements. Material risk factors include those set out in the management's discussion and analysis section of Alterra's most recent annual report and quarterly report, and in Alterra's Annual Information Form. Given these risks, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which apply only as of their dates. Other than as specifically required by law, Alterra undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information to reflect new information, subsequent or otherwise.


 

 

SOURCE Alterra Power Corp.



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