Six First Nations acquire equity stake in $1.5-billion power plant project
CALGARY, Alberta, Sept. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) is pleased to announce that as its first commitment it has provided a loan guarantee to a consortium of six Alberta First Nations to enable their participation in the Cascade Power Project (Cascade). Cascade is a 900MW combined cycle natural gas fired power plant located near Edson, AB. The transaction is a culmination of intensive efforts by multiple parties including Kineticor Resource Corp., OPTrust and Backwoods Energy Services (Backwoods), which is owned by the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation.
The First Nations will invest through a holding vehicle owned by Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Enoch Cree Nation, Kehewin Cree Nation, O’Chiese First Nation, Paul First Nation and Whitefish Lake First Nation.
“We are pleased to have supported this transaction in the Cascade Power Project, that provides significant benefit to the six First Nation investors. This investment is based on commercial terms and has met all other AIOC criteria. This is a momentous deal and I’m proud for this to be the first project approved by the AIOC. I want to especially thank the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation and their team at Backwoods for their hard work to design and structure this meaningful transaction that will bring lasting prosperity to Indigenous communities in Alberta.”
– Alicia DuBois, CEO, Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation
Cascade is a project developed and operated by Kineticor Resource Corp. that when completed in 2023 will supply eight per cent of Alberta’s electricity needs.
The mandate of the AIOC is to fund natural resource projects such as Cascade, which will benefit Indigenous communities through participation in major energy projects. With up to $1 billion in loan guarantees, the AIOC helps reduce the cost of capital for Indigenous groups and makes it easier to raise capital to invest in natural resource projects.
“As the first entrepreneurs, First Nations and Metis people deserve to be at the forefront of energy development in our province. Financial security through the AIOC for these participating First Nations in the Cascade Power Project will contribute to our energy grid, get people in Alberta back to work and put First Nations on a path to prosperity.”
– Jason Kenney, Premier
“Securing this deal is transformational for the First Nations involved and creates the national blueprint for Indigenous communities to acquire ownership in major energy and infrastructure projects. Thank you to the AIOC, Kineticor, OPTrust and particularly my team at Backwoods Energy Services for the tireless work in structuring and negotiating this transaction on behalf of the six First Nations communities.”
– Chief Tony Alexis, Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation
“This idea has been decades in the making, and it is rewarding to see it come to fruition with this first deal out of the AIOC. The focus has always been to achieve Indigenous involvement in the economy, bringing them in as partners in prosperity.”
– Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations
About the AIOC
Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) is a provincial Crown corporation established in November 2019.
We guarantee loans to Indigenous groups to facilitate investment in natural resource projects and related infrastructure.
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