April 4, 2006, BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – Today, Sithe Global Power, LLC held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of its 875 MW natural gas-fuelled power station to be located on 20 hectare site on the west side of Goreway Drive (between Highway 407 and Regional Road 107) in Brampton, Ontario.
Expected to be in-service by the summer 2007, Goreway Station will be Canada’s largest combined cycle power station. It will also be Ontario’s first new major power station to be built in more than 25 years focused on responding to the Western Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA) critical need for new electricity supply.
“We are honoured and pleased that the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) have placed their confidence in Sithe Global Power to help meet the electricity supply needs of this fast-growing region of the Province”, said Bruce Wrobel, Sithe Global Power’s CEO.
Development planning for Goreway Station and stakeholder consultations began more than six years ago. The sustained level of economic growth throughout the GTA has pushed the region’s power system to its limits, particularly during peak electricity demand periods.
With serious technical constraints emerging at Hydro One Networks’ Claireville Transformer Station (a major electricity supply point for the western GTA), the Ministry of Energy directed the Ontario Power Authority, in the fall of 2005, to negotiate a long-term agreement to get Goreway Station into service by the summer 2007. It took Sithe Global Power and the OPA about four months to complete the complex agreement and project financing. “Knowing that the reliability demands required Goreway Station to be in-service by summer 2007, all parties – Sithe Global Power, the OPA, SNC Lavalin, our lenders Toronto Dominion and Royal Bank of Canada, our advisors, and, our majority shareholder, The Blackstone Group – went the extra mile to meet this compressed timeline” said Wrobel.
David Foley, Senior Managing Director of The Blackstone Group, said “Goreway Station is a very important step in Blackstone’s growth plan for Sithe Global Power. Blackstone has been an active investor in Canada and we look forward to additional investment opportunities in the energy industry and other sectors within Canada in the future.”
Sithe Global Power will invest more than one billion dollars in Goreway Station. To alleviate the overloading pressures at Hydro One’s Claireville Transformer Station, Goreway Station will be built to allow 500 MW of the station’s design capacity to come on stream by the summer 2007 while the balance of the plant is completed. The station’s full capacity to produce 875 MW (capable of meeting the power needs of more than 330,000 homes) is expected to be completed in time to meet the summer 2008 peak. “Although we face an ambitious schedule to get Goreway Station in-service by next summer, I have every confidence our experienced project management team can – and will – get the job done”, Wrobel added.
Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Energy, lauded Sithe Global’s efforts to date and underscored the important role Goreway Station will play in building a newer, stronger and cleaner electricity generation system for Ontario. “We are pleased to see this project take an important step forward to becoming part of a more diversified, clean energy supply mix in Ontario while also addressing the critical need for GTA supply”, Cansfield said. “It’s a testament to the confidence the private sector has in the bold approach we are taking to rebuild our electricity supply system for the future, and to maintain this region’s role as an engine of the provincial economy”, Cansfield added
The City of Brampton’s Mayor Susan Fennell, who also participated in the Groundbreaking, welcomed Sithe Global Power to the City, stating “reliable electricity supply is so critical, it’s key to furthering the economic growth of the City of Brampton and its surrounding area and we are pleased that this need has not only been recognized but that Goreway Station is proceeding.”