TransAlta releases its 11th Annual Report on Sustainability

Jun 5, 2008

Highlights of the report include:

  • Announcement of $285 million investment in 2007/2008 to increase TransAlta’s renewable portfolio (including hydro assets) to 1,287 MW or 15 percent of total portfolio
  • Launch of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project to reduce CO2 emissions by one million tonnes per year by 2013
  • Purchase of approximately 400,000 tonnes of Alberta offset credits
  • Advancement of  technologies to reduce mercury emissions by 70 per cent in Alberta by 2010

CALGARY, Alberta (June 5, 2008) – TransAlta has released its 11th Annual Report on Sustainability. This report provides details on the sustainable development projects and initiatives TransAlta undertook in 2007/2008.

“The key to our collective future success is breaking the century-old equation in which economic health equals energy growth which equates to environmental impact,” said Steve Snyder, TransAlta’s President & CEO.  “Success will require a significant, integrated approach built on the principles of energy conservation, continued investment in renewable power, well-designed offset trading schemes, and the development of permanent carbon capture and storage technologies. There is a growing need for new electricity supply – so governments, consumers and industry must work together to meet this challenge.  It will take time and it will be costly, but it can be done.”

2007/2008 Report on Sustainability Highlights

In July, 2007 TransAlta announced the expansion of its Kent Hills wind farm from 75 MW to 96 MW at a total capital cost of $170 million. On Feb. 13, 2008 the company announced the development of the 66 MW Blue Trail wind farm at a cost of $115 million. TransAlta has identified the potential to develop an additional 500MW of wind generation in southern Alberta over the next five years.

In early 2008, TransAlta announced a memorandum of understanding with Alstom Canada, a global leader in power generation technology, to work together to develop a large scale CO2 capture and storage facility at one of its coal-fired generation stations west of Edmonton. The company believes that Alstom Canada’s technology is one of the more promising and potentially lowest cost solutions for CCS.

TransAlta continues to build its offsets portfolio and as an early adopter of this approach, is now realizing a significant competitive advantage. Alberta-based offsets purchasing, combined with increased plant efficiencies, are methods through which the company will meet near-term emission reduction goals.

TransAlta is testing enhanced activated carbon technology at select Alberta plants to reduce mercury emissions by 70 per cent and meet mandated mercury controls by the end of 2010. Results of the initial testing phase were promising. Currently in the second phase, which involves a long-term pilot test, TransAlta is examining how the technology performs at different locations and in different ambient conditions.

In addition, TransAlta:

  • Reduced its Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) intensity by six per cent (from 2003 to 2007) through operational improvements that resulted in higher efficiencies
  • Drove NOx emission intensity below the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) benchmark
  • Reduced the employee safety injury frequency rate by 50 per cent

TransAlta is recognized for its leadership on sustainability by the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, the FTSE4Good Index and the Jantzi Social Index. The company was ranked third of 200 companies in the Climate Disclosure Project. For the 6th consecutive year, TransAlta was ranked #1 in the Canadian utilities sector for its governance and transparency by the Globe & Mail newspaper.

The report can be accessed from TransAlta’s website.

TransAlta is a power generation and wholesale marketing company focused on creating long-term shareholder value. We maintain a low-risk profile by operating a highly contracted portfolio of assets in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Australia. Our focus is to efficiently operate our coal-fired, gas-fired, hydro and renewable facilities in order to provide our customers with a reliable, low-cost source of power. For nearly 100 years, we’ve been a responsible operator and a proud contributor to the communities where we work and live.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the business and anticipated financial performance of TransAlta Corporation. These statements are based on TransAlta Corporation’s belief and assumptions based on information available at the time the assumption was made. These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause such differences include legislative or regulatory developments, competition, global capital markets activity, changes in prevailing interest rates, currency exchange rates, inflation levels, unanticipated accounting or audit issues with respect to our financial statements or our internal control over financial reporting, plant availability, and general economic conditions in geographic areas where TransAlta Corporation operates. By its nature, such forward-looking information is subject to various risks and uncertainties, which could cause TransAlta’s actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is given as of the date of this news release or as otherwise stated. TransAlta undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Note: All financial figures are in Canadian dollars unless noted otherwise.

For more information:

Media Inquiries:

Michael Lawrence
Manager, External Relations
Phone: (403) 267-7330

Investor Inquiries:

Jennifer Pierce
Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations
Phone: (403) 267-7622
Fax: (403) 267-2590

Jess Nieukerk
Manager, Investor Relations
Phone: (403) 267-3607