Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and Lulu Island Energy Company have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formalizing their collaboration to develop a new district energy project in Richmond, British Columbia.

This is the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s first opportunity to partner on a project in British Columbia. The CIB has specialized infrastructure expertise and this project is consistent with its mandate to advise on and potentially invest in green infrastructure projects that are in the public interest.

Lulu Island Energy Company is a municipal corporation wholly-owned by the City of Richmond established to implement and operate district energy utility systems across the city in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. The City of Richmond saw the benefits of district energy in meeting sustainability goals within its Community Energy and Emissions Plan and implemented three district energy utilities (DEU): the multi-award winning Alexandra DEU; the Oval Village DEU which services the waterfront community around the world renowned Richmond Olympic Oval; and the City Centre DEU.

The new Lulu Island Energy Company district energy project involves expanding the City’s current district energy systems from 330,000 square metres (3.6 million square feet) to more than 4.7 million square metres (50 million square feet) over time, conditional to approval by Richmond City Council.

“District energy is aligned with federal government and CIB priorities to invest in green infrastructure and there is potential for this project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is a tremendous opportunity for CIB to expand work with an innovative municipality and develop a project that can combine both public and institutional investment,” said CIB President and CEO Pierre Lavallée.

The MOU confirms CIB and Lulu Island Energy Company will conduct further due diligence and financial structuring work regarding a potential new district energy system concession agreement with Corix Utilities, a leading provider of sustainable energy and environmental management solutions across Canada and the U.S. Lulu Island Energy Company and Corix Utilities are currently developing the Oval Village District Energy system, where Corix is responsible for the design, construction, financing, operations, and maintenance of the system, while the City of Richmond is regulating and setting rates for customers.

CIB’s work could lead to an investment in the project, subject to all standard due diligence and decision making.

Lulu Island Energy Company’s district energy system will use zero-carbon sewer heat recovery technology to extract heat from the local sewer force main once the system is fully built out.

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