UtiliCorp Communications Services agreed with Advent Networks of Austin to use Advent�s broadband communications network. The new UtiliCorp cable network will use Advent�s ultraband hardware that delivers dedicated bandwidth at internet speeds up to 1,000 faster than dial-up modems. The ultraband technology will remove the �last mile� DSL distance limitations and cable�s shared bandwidth restrictions by providing a dedicated channel for each user. UtiliCorp Communications, an unregulated unit of the Kansas City-based UtiliCorp United Inc., provides broadband communications services to mid-sized and smaller communities in the mid-continent region. The technology will enable users to have DVD quality video, video telconferencing, high speed interactive gaming, and enterprise class voice over IP, and other applications not possible on cable systems.
El Paso Europe Ltd., a unit of El Paso Energy Corp. said it began trading natural gas in Europe from its offices in London. In 2001, the company will trade electricity as well as natural gas in United Kingdom and continental Europe. Currently, El Paso Energy investments in the United Kingdom include interests in two natural gas fired power projects -- Enfield Power Project and Fife Power Project in Scotland. The Scottish plant is expected to begin commercial operations in early 2001.The company also has power interests in Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Southern Energy Inc. said it acquired a 20% interest in a
1,250 Mw power station under construction in Batangas, Philippines, for about $35 million. The natural gas-fired power station will use combined-cycle technology and emission-control equipment to maximize efficiency and environmental performance. The project includes a 20-year power sales agreement with National Power Corp. (NAPOCOR) of the Philippines that gives NAPOCOR rights to 1,200 Mw of the station's capacity. Southern Energy's co-owners in the project are Korea Electric Power, with a 51% interest; Mitsubishi, with 21%; and Kyushu Electric Corp., with 8%. Natural gas for the plant will come from the Malampaya gas field in the Palawan province of the Philippines -- the first natural gas find of commercial value in the country. The gas field has sufficient reserves to fuel up to 3,000 Mw of electric generating capacity for the next 25 years.
New generating capacity of about 69,000 Mw will be needed in Europe over the next 5 years to keep up with demand growth in electricity, according to a new study by FT Energy. The additional capacity is needed in Spain, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. High prices for electricity coupled with monopolistic conditions in Western European countries have prompted market liberalization measures and the opening of competition across Western European power markets. These conditions have presented a number of investment opportunities in these countries, says study director Michael Carter of FT Energy in Boulder, Colo. The new generating capacity will be required to keep a reserve margin of 20%, he says.