Thursday, February 05, 2009

Nai Kun pushes ahead on energy plans

With a recently signed deal with Haida Gwaii now at hand Nai Kun has turned over fifty percent of their company to the Haida Nation, a partnership that both hope will see the arrival of wind power to islands.

Though the winds of economic change currently blowing around the world may see a delay in the timetable of development and implementation of the ambitious wind power project.
The Daily News featured the latest developments in the world of NaiKun over the last two days, with a front page headline story in Wednesday's paper outlining the details of the deal on Haida Gwaii.
Haida Nation will take over 50 per cent ownership of proposed Haida Gwaii wind farm
The Daily News
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Pages one and two

Nai'Kun has agreed to hand over 50 per cent of its business to the Haida Nation.

According to Director of North Coast relations Lucy Shaw, the company signed an official agreement with the Council of Haida Nation that will see 50 per cent of all revenues and 50 per cent of ownership in the wind generated power company transferred.

Shaw also reiterated that the Clean Power Call was all about the long-term need for energy in the province and that Nai'Kun was set up to take the long-term approach.

"We have no immediate financial issues that will impede our current development of the project," said Shaw.

However, Shaw did say that global economics could delay growth in the future plans, although she would not comment on specifics.

"In about mid-2010 we are going to have to go back to the market and raise money for financing the construction of the project," said Shaw.

To get the project to the construction stage, there will need to be significant capital lending raised for construction of the 110 wind turbines it plans to place in Hecate Strait.

Right now, the company has $25 million in funds stored for its initial' growth but will need more than that if it is to see its $2 billion-project come to fulfillment. Shaw said Nai'Kun continues to be confident that this will not be a problem because lending firms will see the benefit once the Power Call decisions are made.

"The clean power call is about meeting long-term demands for energy in the province, so the demand is there," said Shaw.

For the Haida Nation, this represents an opportunity to continue its path toward financial sustainability as long as it passes both Haida Nation and provincial environmental assessments.

"The Haida people support development that brings benefits of all kinds - individual, commercial and environmental - to Haida Gwaii and to the Haida Nation," said Guujaaw, President of the Haida Nation in a press release.

"We fully believe that, subject to confirmation of environmental feasibility, this offshore project will bring significant long-term benefits to the Haida Nation," said Guujaaw.

"For these reasons, we are proud to be participants in the project."

The project is contingent upon receipt of environmental approvals from the Haida Nation and approval through the harmonized federal/provincial environmental assessment process, and it is also dependent upon the award of an Electricity Purchase Agreement from BC Hydro.

Training and recruiting for the project will begin immediately to ensure a qualified workforce is in place as activity ramps up for the start of construction in 2012.

Nai'Kun project breezes forward
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Page one

The winds of confidence appear to be building for Nai'Kun.
The people at Nai'Kun Wind Energy Group Inc. believe that their proposed 396 MW wind farm for Hecate Strait will be getting approval when BC Hydro makes its final decisions following its Clean Power Call.

According to the company's year-end financials, Nai'Kun had a net loss of $16.19 million in 2008, a significant increase in spending compared to 2007 when it incurred a $5.07 million loss.

"Nai'Kun isn't immune to the effects of the current worldwide economic situation," said President and CEO Paul Taylor.
While Nai'Kun looked to lay blame at the feet of a looming global recession, the company has increased the development side of its wind energy project.

As of Sept. 30, when Nai'Kun's year-end totals were compiled, the company had $27.94 million in cash and cash equivalents.

That number was down from the $36.71 million it held at the same time in 2007.

Taylor joined the company in 2008 replacing former president Ray Castelli and promised that 2009 would be a big year of Nai'Kun.

"The coming year promises to be equally active and successful. We expect to secure a purchase agreement with BC Hydro when it awards contracts mid-year, which will lead to signing significant contracts with major suppliers," said Taylor.

The buoyancy is a change of tune for the Vancouver-based alternative energy company, which has been cautiously optimistic until now.

There are 19 proposals for wind-generated electricity according to BC Hydro, and two of them are in the Prince Rupert area with Katabatic power being the other.

The biggest cost to the company has been investment in engineering.

According to the company's financials, the project has cost the organization an accumulated $26 million since it was announced.

Some of the costs have come under the wind measurement capital expenditures, which have cost the company $3.3 million during the span of Nai'Kun's existence.
With all the investment laid out for the Hecate Strait project, the company is hoping to get a significant return.

Potentially, its investment could be enough to supply 130,000 homes in B.C.

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