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Head of ICBC to join NaiKun as President
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(April 7, 2008) – NaiKun Wind Group Inc. (“NaiKun”) (TSX VENTURE:NKW) is pleased to announce the appointments of Paul Taylor and Steven Eckert to the company’s senior-executive team. Mr. Eckert’s appointment is effective today, while Mr. Taylor’s is effective May 5, 2008.Mr. Taylor, President and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), will join NaiKun Wind Group as President and Director. Steven Eckert, a former consultant to BC Hydro and former Vice President of Project Development for Constellation Energy, becomes Senior Vice-President of NaiKun Wind Group and President and CEO of NaiKun’s development subsidiary, NaiKun Wind Development Inc.
“NaiKun is delighted to add these two high-calibre executives to our roster of senior management,” said Michael C. Burns, Chairman of NaiKun Wind Group. “Their managerial expertise and experience in the energy sector will contribute significantly to our project and the company.”
While at ICBC, which is Canada’s largest auto insurer, Mr. Taylor advanced and secured its market position during a period of regulatory restructuring and increased competition. Under his leadership, premium and retained earnings grew while operating-cost growth was contained, allowing competitive insurance rates to be lowered in three of the last four years.
During his tenure with the British Columbia Ministry of Finance as Deputy Minister and Secretary to the Treasury Board, Mr. Taylor played a leadership role in the implementation of a comprehensive legislative agenda and new fiscal framework that streamlined regulation, enhanced financial reporting and made the province a North American leader in public-private partnerships. Under his guidance, the Ministry achieved several milestones, including a 35-per-cent budget reduction and an improved debt rating for the province from international bond-rating agencies. During this period, the province consistently managed to outperform annual deficit targets.
Mr. Taylor also brings significant energy project experience to NaiKun from his service as Senior Vice-President at TransAlta where he led the growth and development of the company’s non-regulated business.
“Paul Taylor has an exemplary leadership and business reputation,” said NaiKun Chairman, Mr. Burns. “Whether in the public or private sector, he has transformed major organizations into effective, well performing market competitors, often during periods of restructuring or reorganization. He has been at the forefront of British Columbia’s economic renewal and has a great deal of experience in the energy sector. Paul has a proven track record and I am confident NaiKun will do well under his leadership.”
Mr. Taylor will work closely with Mr. Burns, who remains Executive Chair until September, to ensure a smooth transition of duties and leadership. Mr. Burns will leave his active management role by the end of this fiscal year, continuing thereafter as Board Chairman.
Mr. Taylor said, “I am proud to be joining a leader in clean-energy development. The NaiKun offshore wind project has the potential to put British Columbia at the forefront of renewable power in North America. It is an exciting and unparalleled opportunity to build a project, an industry and a legacy of clean, renewable power for the province.”
Mr. Eckert has broad experience in project and business development along with independent power projects across the Americas. At Constellation Energy, he structured and developed power projects for industrial consumers, focusing on renewable energy and co-generation projects.
Having served as a consultant to BC Hydro, he is familiar with the utility’s acquisition and procurement practices. He also managed the redevelopment of two large-scale hydroelectric projects and appeared before the BC Utilities Commission.
He began his career with Duke Power as an engineer and eventually became Senior Vice-President of Duke Energy’s Latin America operations, acquiring and developing power projects and transmission systems.
Mr. Eckert said, “I am excited to lead the NaiKun offshore wind project and to work with the fine team of experts and business leaders already assembled. My experience in developing, managing and acquiring renewable projects in British Columbia and abroad will be important to draw upon. The BC Hydro Clean Power Call is expected soon and I’m impressed with the work and preparation NaiKun has already accomplished. The project, resource and team are amongst the best in Canada.”
Ken McCready, Chair of NaiKun Wind Group’s Human Resources Committee, took note of Mr. Burns’ exceptional leadership at NaiKun, “For the past six years, he led the company through its most important phases of development and growth. He has put together an outstanding executive team, secured agreements with First Nations and provided the bold vision to bring offshore wind power into the competitive market for the first time in British Columbia and Canada. NaiKun will continue to benefit from his expertise and advice as he will remain Chairman of the board while looking forward to retirement.”
NaiKun is proposing to build Canada’s first offshore wind project in Hecate Strait off the north coast of British Columbia. The 320-megawatt project is currently under development for submission in BC Hydro’s 2008 Clean Energy Call.
NaiKun Wind Energy Group Inc. (TSX VENTURE:NKW) is a Vancouver-based energy company that has traded on the TSX Venture Exchange (and its predecessors) since 1967. Since 2000, the company has focused on renewable energy. Its subsidiary, NaiKun Wind Development Inc., is engaged in the development of a major offshore wind project off the coast of British Columbia in an area known as the Haida Energy Field. Interested parties are invited to visit the company’s website at www.naikun.ca.
The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
For more information, please contact
NaiKun Wind Development Inc.
Director, Public Affairs and Communications
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