/NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES OR OVER UNITED STATES WIRE
CALGARY, July 4 /CNW/ - EarthFirst Canada Inc. ("EarthFirst") (TSX: EF,
EF.WT) today announced it is increasing the total capital cost estimate of the
Dokie I wind project in the Northeast British Columbia region, from
$325 million to $360 million. Approximately $22 million of the increase is due
to higher than anticipated tendered pricing, largely as a result of increased
natural gas exploration and other economic activity in the area affecting
labor and commodity costs. The Company notes that the project tendering
process is now substantially complete.
The remainder of the increase comes from raising the contingency
allocation from $23 million to $36 million. This change reflects the
recommendations of the independent engineer contracted by the senior lenders
to the project. Management will make every effort to reduce contingency
spending through effective construction management and cost control.
Separately, Garrad Hassan, the company's independent wind consultant, has
recently announced changes to the wind energy estimation methodology they are
applying to North American wind projects. As part of this change, Garrad
Hassan is reducing its P50 estimate of annual energy production from the Dokie
I wind project by 2.3% from 349.5 to 341.5 GWh/annum.
EarthFirst expects to launch the syndication of its senior credit
facilities next week and is working with WestLB AG, its lead arranger, and its
advisors to arrange any additional financing required to complete the project.
EarthFirst is a leading Canadian developer of wind energy projects with a
portfolio of over 2,500 MW of potential renewable generating capacity. This
includes the Company's 144 MW Dokie I project in British Columbia which has
commenced construction and is due to be completed in 2009. An additional
226 MW of fully permitted projects that are expected to be tendered into the
recently announced BC Clean Power Call. Common Shares and Warrants of
EarthFirst Canada Inc. are listed on the TSX under the symbol EF and EF.WT,
Certain statements included in this news release constitute
"forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities
legislation including submission of bids into the BC Clean Power Call, the
timing of the construction of the Dokie I project and anticipated completion
of the financing of this project. Such forward-looking information involves
known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the
actual results, performance or achievements of EarthFirst to be materially
different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or
implied by such forward-looking information.
Specifically, some of the material risks include not being able to
acquire required permits, delays in construction timing or turbine delivery
and not being able to complete the financing for Dokie I Project. In providing
such forward-looking information we have made various assumptions regarding,
among other things, turbine availability, timing of the receipt of permits,
interest rates, foreign currency exchange, projected construction costs,
timeframes and the costs of and availability of skilled labour.
The forward-looking information contained in this news release represents
the expectations of EarthFirst as at July 4, 2008, and, accordingly, is
subject to change after such date. However, EarthFirst expressly disclaims any
intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information,
whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as
required by applicable law.
For further information:
For further information: Linda Chambers, President and Chief Executive
Officer, EarthFirst Canada Inc., Tel: (403) 513-0778, Toll Free: (877)
513-0777, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Derren Newell, VP, Finance
and Chief Financial Officer, EarthFirst Canada Inc., Tel: (403) 513-0766, Toll
Free: (877) 513-0777, E-mail: email@example.com