General Interest news briefs�May 15

A new tripartite committee that will advise the UK Health & Safety Executive on health and safety in the offshore oil and gas industry met for the first time recently. The Offshore Industry Advisory Committee succeeds the former Oil Industry Advisory Committee, which covered the oil and gas industry both onshore and offshore. Operational issues relating to the onshore oil industry will be dealt with by the Chief Inspector of Factories. The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Substances will handle policy matters.

Southern Energy Inc., a unit of Southern Co., Atlanta, announced plans to build an 830-Mw power station in Zeeland, Mich., to help supply the growing demand for electricity in the US Upper Midwest. Construction of the natural gas-fired plant is set to begin this month. The plant will begin commercial operation in June 2001 with 300 Mw of capacity; an additional 530 Mw will begin commercial operation by June 2003. Southern Energy's marketing and risk-management affiliate, Southern Co. Energy Marketing, will market the plant's output to wholesale power markets. Once completed, the Zeeland plant, combined with other Southern Energy's projects, will raise the firm's total amount of power generation capacity Southern Energy owns or controls to more than 10,000 Mw.

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