A Canadian biomass project has secured project debt financing of C$175mn (around US$168mn).

The 40MW Fort St James project in British Columbia, constructed by a joint venture between Dalkia Canada and Fengate Capital Management, will cost C$235mn to build. The rest of the finance will come in the form of equity.

The debt portion has been arranged by BTMU (co-ordinating bank). It has been joined on the transaction by Canada Imperial Bank of Commerce, National Bank of Canada (administrative agent), Natixis and Rabobank.

There is a 30-year power purchase agreement in place with BC Hydro, British Columbia’s public utility. The plant is expected to generate its first electricity by Q2 2016.

The biomass plant will generate electricity by using roadside debris and local saw waste as fuel. This fuel has been secured on a 20-year bio-energy harvest license. When operational, it will generate over 285,000MWh of renewable energy, consuming 200,000 tonnes of biomass fuel each year.

The JV is developing a similar biomass facility in Merritt, British Columbia. It is also a 40MW plant and is expected to reach financial close in the new year.