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Plutonic merges to form green-energy company

The powerhouse for the East Toba run-of-the-river hydro-electric facility is perched on the mountainside. Plutonic is merging with another Canadian firm to form an even larger green-energy company. - Plutonic Power Corporation photo
The powerhouse for the East Toba run-of-the-river hydro-electric facility is perched on the mountainside. Plutonic is merging with another Canadian firm to form an even larger green-energy company.
— image credit: Plutonic Power Corporation photo

Plutonic Power Corporation is merging with Magma Energy Corp to form a bigger Canadian-based “green energy” company.

Monday’s merger will result in a new company, Alterra Power Corp., that will operate two hydro plants and a wind farm in B.C. as well as two geothermal plants in Iceland and one in Nevada.

Plutonic operates the run-of-the-river hydro-electric operation in Toba Inlet and has long-range plans for an even larger series of power plants in Bute Inlet.

The Toba project began producing electricity for BC Hydro last year, but the $3.5-billion plan to build more run-of-the-river generating stations in Bute Inlet is on hold.

“2010 was a breakout year for Plutonic having completed the transition into an operating company,” said Donald McInnes, Plutonic’s vice-chairman and CEO. “A merger with Magma will provide our shareholders with the best path to further value creation achieved through a larger market size, greater liquidity, better access to capital, and diversity of geography and technology with a healthy development pipeline that provides significant growth opportunities.”

Under the merger agreement, each Plutonic shareholder will receive 2.38 shares of Magma for each Plutonic share held, and Magma will change its name to Alterra.

The merger is expected to be approved by shareholders in April.

McInnes has visited Campbell River several times in recent years to promote and defend the run-of-the-river projects. One of the key visits was in February 2009, during a packed and raucous public meeting at the new Quinsam Hall.

McInnes will serve as the executive vice-chairman for Alterra while Walter Segsworth, Plutonic’s chairman, was named to the new board of directors. Segsworth was also the former head of Westmin Resoucres when it owned the Myra Falls mine located in Strathcona Park.

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