PPP Canada backs ‘Namgis First Nation hydro project

The provision of a preferential loan for the Kokish River project marks the first collaboration between Canada’s P3 authority and an Aboriginal community.

PPP Canada, the Canadian government’s public-private partnership (PPP; P3) authority, will provide a low-interest loan of up to C$12.94 million (€9.1 million; $11.7 million) through its P3 Canada Fund for the Kokish River Hydroelectric Project, Canada’s Minister of Finance Joe Oliver said in a statement.

The Kokish River project is the first project being developed by an Aboriginal community to receive funding from the P3 Canada Fund.

The power generated by the 45-megawatt (MW) run-of-the-river hydroelectric development, located within ‘Namgis core territory in British Columbia, will be sold to BC Hydro under a 40-year power purchase agreement. A portion of the revenue generated each year will be directed into a ‘Namgis Community Benefit Fund, according to the statement.

“This innovative P3 project will allow the ‘Namgis First Nation to generate both energy and revenue while safeguarding North Vancouver Island’s ecosystem,” Oliver said. “It also means high-quality jobs will be available for people in the ‘Namgis community over the next 40 years,” he added.

The project is owned and managed by Kwagis Power, a limited partnership between the ‘Namgis First Nation and Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (BREP), the renewable power platform of Brookfield Asset Management (BAM).

Under the terms of the partnership, Brookfield is responsible for the design, construction, financing, operations and maintenance of the hydropower plant, while ‘Namgis participates in the decision-making and monitors the private partner’s performance.

Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners was formed in September 2011, when Brookfield Asset Management decided to combine its wholly-owned subsidiary Brookfield Renewable Power with the Brookfield Renewable Power Fund.

Cross-listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges, BREP now operates one of the largest publicly-traded pure-play renewable power platforms globally. Its portfolio is primarily hydroelectric and totals approximately 6,700MW of installed capacity. Its portfolio of assets is diversified across 72 river systems and 13 power markets in the US, Canada, Brazil, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

PPP Canada, which became operational in February 2009, is charged with improving delivery of public infrastructure projects by providing expertise and advice in assessing and executing P3 opportunities at the federal level as well as leveraging greater value for money from federal government investments in provincial, territorial, municipal and First Nations infrastructure through the P3 Canada Fund. Its independent board of directors reports to Parliament through the Minister of Finance.