Electric Power news briefs, November 17

IntercontinentalExchange ... Duke Energy Corp. ... Williams ... Coastal Corp. ... El Paso Energy Corp. ... Orion Power Holdings Inc. ... TECO Coal Corp. ... Perry County Coal Corp. ... South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. ... South Coast Air Quality Management District ... AES Corp. ... Reliant Energy Inc. ... Union Fenosa Desarrollo y Accion Exterior SA ... CMS Energy Corp. ... Comision Federal de Electridad ... Alstom

Nov 17th, 2000

IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) said it traded more than 2 million Mw-hr yesterday Thursday, only 1 month after going live with its energy complex. ICE said trading volumes have been growing rapidly since the launch of energy trading Oct. 12 and precious metals on Aug. 24. As of Nov. 16, the ICE has traded 150 million bbl of crude and refined oil derivatives, 800 MMbtu of natural gas and natural gas derivatives, and 22 million Mw-hr of firm power. Total notional value for all over-the-counter products, including precious metals, traded to date is more than $13 billion.

Subsidiaries of Duke Energy Corp. and Williams said they will jointly purchase the proposed $1.6 billion, 774-mi, 1.1 bcf/day Gulfstream Natural Gas System LLC from Coastal Corp. Upon completion of the purchase, Duke Energy and Williams will develop the Gulfstream project in lieu of the Buccaneer pipeline project. The purchase, expected to be finalized during the fourth quarter 2000, is subject to federal regulatory approvals and conditioned upon completion of the pending Coastal/El Paso Energy Corp. merger. Gulfstream has precedent agreements with 10 large Florida utilities and power generation facilities representing long-term commitments for the majority of its capacity. Financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed. The projected in-service date is June 2002.

Orion Power Holdings Inc., Baltimore, Md., reported net income of $3.9 million or 5�/share on revenue of $343 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to net income of $2.7 million or 13�/share on revenue of $35.6 million for the comparable 1999 quarter. The third quarter of 2000 included about $30 million of pretax costs relating to a hedging program for Orion Power's Midwest business, reducing net income by about $17.6 million or 25�share, the company said.

TECO Coal Corp., a unit of TECO Energy Inc., said it has acquired Perry County Coal Corp. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Perry County Coal, located in eastern Kentucky, produces about 2 million tons/year of coal and controls about 20,000 acres of owned and leased mineral properties, containing recoverable reserves of about 20 million tons. The include a 950 ton/hr preparation facility and a unit train loadout, serviced by CSX Corp. Terms were not disclosed.

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co., a subsidiary of SCANA Corp., reported it has begun repairs to a faulty weld found during routine inspections while its V.C. Summer nuclear station was shut down for a refueling and maintenance outage. Repair work to the weld on a reactor coolant system pipe should be completed and the 1,000 Mw plant back in operation by late December or early January, the company said.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) filed a petition with a hearing board to require AES Corp. to install catalysts or equivalent controls to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides at three AES electric power plants. Under the petition, AES would be able to operate the three facilities to ensure an adequate supply of electricity to the region during any Stage 1, 2, or 3 emergency alert declared by the California Independent System Operator until the equipment is installed. AQMD is seeking the abatement order after reports showed that AES exceeded its emissions limits during the summer quarter ending Sept. 30. The hearing is expected in November.

Reliant Energy Inc. said it has closed the transaction to transfer its interests in two electricity distribution companies in Colombia to Spain's Union Fenosa Desarrollo y Accion Exterior SA. The transaction covered Reliant Energy's indirect investments in Electrocosta and Electricaribe. Terms of the transfer were not disclosed.

The County Commissioner's Association of Ohio has signed a 10 bcf, 10-year gas supply contract with a unit of CMS Energy Corp., CMS reported. The agreement includes a prepayment of an undisclosed sum to CMS-MST funded by bonds issued by Hamilton County, Ohio, and underwritten by Seasongood & Mayer LLC, Cincinnati. The association, in turn, will provide the natural gas to over 30 Ohio county governments.

UtiliCorp United Inc. said it will seek a buyer for its utility network construction, operation, and maintenance business through acompetitive bid. The business being sold supports UtiliCorp's electricity and natural gas network transmission and distribution operations. Sale of the business would affect about 900 employees and would include the equipment involved in operations and related engineering work on UtiliCorp's electricity and gas networks in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska, the company said,

Comision Federal de Electridad (CFE) has awarded France's Alstom a 200 million euro contract to repower Unit 4 of the Valle de Mexico thermal power plant, increasing output to 550 Mw from 300 Mw. Under the contract, ALSTOM will supply 3x115MW GT11N2 gas turbine generator units, three heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) and associated auxiliary equipment, engineering, the electrical and control system and a high voltage switchyard. The company will also be responsible for site preparation, civil works, erection, and commissioning. The plant is scheduled to be operational by mid-2002.

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