SOURCE: Etrion Corporation

Etrion Corporation

October 14, 2014 02:05 ET

Etrion Announces Start of Construction on 34 MW in Japan

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwired - October 14, 2014) - Etrion Corporation ("Etrion" or the "Company") (TSX: ETX) (OMX: ETX), a solar independent power producer, today announced the start of construction on its first 34 megawatts ("MW") in Japan jointly owned with Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation ("Hitachi High-Tech") (TSE: 8036), a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. ("Hitachi").

Marco A. Northland, Etrion's Chief Executive Officer, commented: "We are pleased to begin construction on schedule for our first 34 MW in Japan with our partner, Hitachi High-Tech. We have now demonstrated our unique execution capability in the Japanese solar market -- from greenfield development through project finance and construction -- and we look forward to accelerating our growth in the months ahead. Etrion and Hitachi are committed to delivering shovel-ready or under-construction projects in Japan totaling 100 MW by 2015 and 300 MW by 2017."

Shizukuishi Solar Project (24.7 MW)

Shizukuishi is a 24.7 MW utility-scale solar photovoltaic ("PV") power plant under construction on one site in the Iwate Prefecture of Japan. Construction-related works began this month, and the solar project is expected to be operational by the end of 2016. The solar power plant is being built on 51 hectares of leased land, and the facility will connect through Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. ("Tohoku Electric Power utility"). The project has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement ("PPA") with the Tohoku Electric Power utility to receive ¥40 per kilowatt-hour ("kWh") produced (approximately US$0.37 per kWh). Once operational, Shizukuishi is expected to produce approximately 25.6 gigawatt-hours ("GWh") of solar electricity per year.

Mito Solar Project (9.3 MW)

Mito is a 9.3 MW utility-scale solar PV power project including five sites under construction in the Ibaraki Prefecture of Japan. Construction began this month, and the solar project is expected to be operational by the end of 2015. The solar power plant is being built on 27 hectares of leased land, and the facility will connect through the Tokyo Electric Power Company ("TEPCO"). The project is expected to enter into a 20-year PPA by the end of 2014 with TEPCO to receive ¥40 per kWh produced (approximately US$0.37 per kWh). Once operational, Mito is expected to produce approximately 10.3 GWh of solar electricity per year.

The total project cost for both projects is being financed approximately 80% through project debt from Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited with an 18-year tenor. The first drawdown of the project loan for Shizukuishi was recently completed. The remaining approximate 20% equity portion for the projects is being funded by Etrion and Hitachi High-Tech based on their respective ownership interests in each project of approximately 87% and 13%.

The projects are both being built by Hitachi High-Tech using Hitachi's proven engineering, procurement and construction ("EPC") capabilities. Hitachi High-Tech will also provide the technology, including fixed-tilt solar panels manufactured by Canadian Solar and inverters made by Hitachi. Operations and maintenance ("O&M") services will be provided by Hitachi High-Tech through a long-term fixed-price agreement for each project.

About Etrion

Etrion Corporation is an independent power producer that builds, owns and operates utility-scale solar power generation plants. Etrion owns 17 solar power plants in Italy with approximately 60 MW of installed capacity. The Company also has a 70 MW solar project under construction in Chile and two projects totaling 34 MW under construction in Japan. Etrion is actively developing greenfield solar power projects in both Chile and Japan. The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada and the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm exchange in Sweden under ticker symbol "ETX". Etrion's largest shareholder is the Lundin family, which owns approximately 24% of the Company's shares directly and through various trusts.

For additional information, please visit the Company's website at www.etrion.com.

Etrion discloses the information provided herein pursuant to the Swedish Securities Market Act. The information was submitted for publication at 08:05 Central European Time (CET) on October 14, 2014.

Forward-Looking Information:

This press release contains certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that Etrion believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements relating to the timing and scope of new solar projects anticipated to be developed by the Company and Hitachi High-Tech, the anticipated start of operations for Shizukuishi and Mito and the expected production of electricity from such solar plants, and the anticipated conclusion of a PPA for Mito) constitute forward-looking information. This forward-looking information reflects the current expectations or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available as well as certain assumptions including, without limitation, the ability of the Company to acquire and develop additional renewable energy projects and obtain project financing on economic terms, the ability of the Company and its partner to complete construction of Shizukuishi and Mito according to plan, and the Company's ability to conclude a PPA for Mito in a timely manner and on economic terms. Reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is subject to a number of significant risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking information, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on the Company. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to, the risk that the Japanese government may alter its stated goals for the growth of renewable energy production, the risk that the Company may not be able to identify and/or acquire renewable energy projects in the time frame expected, uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of all applicable permits for the development of such anticipated projects, the risk that the Company may not be able to obtain project financing on economic terms, the risk that unforeseen construction delays occur, the risk that Shizukuishi and Mito do not perform as expected as a result of lower solar irradiation and/or technical problems, and the Company's inability to conclude a PPA with TEPCO in a timely manner and in accordance with expected economic terms.

Any forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking information are reasonable, forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such information due to the inherent uncertainty therein.