Cascade Power Project wins Canadian Power Deal of the Year awardPosted: January 6, 2021
TORONTO, January 6, 2021 – The Cascade Power Project, which OPTrust played a leading role in developing and financing, has won Project Finance International's Canadian Power Deal of the Year award for 2020.
The $1.5-billion Cascade Power Project is a 900-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas-fired power generation facility under construction near Edson, Alberta that will play a role in transitioning the province away from coal-fired power.
OPTrust is a proud partner of the project alongside Axium Infrastructure Inc., DIF Capital Partners, Kineticor Resource Corp., and the Indigenous Communities Syndicate LP (ICS), a consortium owned by the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Enoch Cree Nation, Kehewin Cree Nation, O'Chiese First Nation, Paul First Nation and Whitefish Lake First Nation. ICS will participate with an equity stake in the project and, in its first commitment since launching, the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation has provided a $93-million loan guarantee in the transaction.
"The participation of six First Nations in the Cascade Power Project is a prime example of what is possible when investors, the government and local communities work together," said Gavin Ingram, OPTrust's Global Head of Infrastructure. "The project's development included meaningful local engagement with the aim of building long-term relationships, which will play a key role in its success and ultimately benefit OPTrust members and retirees, our First Nations partners, and the environment alike."
Of note, the Cascade Power Project will help lead the transition to a lower carbon-intensive power grid in Alberta and is expected to result in the largest emissions reduction opportunity in Canada's electricity sector.
The Canadian Power Deal of the Year award recognized the Cascade Power Project's innovative long-term contracting strategy and First Nations partnership.
"Innovation is not just what we invest in, but it is also how we invest," noted James Davis, Chief Investment Officer at OPTrust. "As a long-term investor that is sensitive to climate-change risk, we keep both innovation and sustainability top of mind as we work to deliver on our mission to pay pensions today and preserve pensions for tomorrow."
The Cascade Power Project achieved financial close in August 2020. During the peak of construction, it will create approximately 600 jobs and the facility is expected to start operations in 2023.
With net assets of almost $22 billion, OPTrust invests and manages one of Canada's largest pension funds and administers the OPSEU Pension Plan (including OPTrust Select), a defined benefit plan with over 96,000 members. OPTrust is a global investor in a broad range of asset classes including Canadian and foreign equities, fixed income, real estate, infrastructure and private markets, and has a team of highly experienced investment professionals located in Toronto, London and Sydney.
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