Electric Power news briefs, Jan. 21

Jan. 21, 2002
UtiliCorp United ... PSEG Nuclear ... ONEOK Inc. ... Kinder Morgan ... Enron ... London Electricity Group ... TXU Corp. ... Dynegy Inc. ... ChevronTexaco Inc. ... Statoil ASA ... Naturgass Grenland ... Norsk Hydro ... Skagerak Energi ... Gasnor ... ATCO Power ... Aquila ... CMS Energy

UtiliCorp United Inc., Kansas City, Mo., will issue 11 million shares of common stock. Net proceeds of the transaction will be used to repay short-term debt and for general corporate purposes. The offering is expected to be concluded by the end of this month.

PSEG Nuclear, a unit of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., Parsippany, NJ, produced a record 25,292 Gw-hr in 2001. Salem Unit 2, with a capacity factor of 99%, produced a record 9,518 Gw-hr of electricity.

ONEOK Inc., Tulsa, Okla., reported receiving a waiver on a possible technical default related to various financing leases tied to ONEOK's Bushton gas processing plant in Kansas. ONEOK acquired the Bushton plant and related leases from Kinder Morgan, Houston, which had previously acquired them from Enron Corp. The technical default resulted from the bankruptcy protection filing by Enron. ONEOK said it will continue to make the required lease payments.

London Electricity Group PLC completed the $1.87 billion acquisition of TXU Corp.'s UK distribution business and its 50% interest in 24seven. TXU originally announced the sale on Nov. 19, 2001. TXU said the sale helped reduce debt and interest coverage. Separately, TXU said its regulated energy delivery business will be renamed Oncor.

Dynegy Inc., Houston, reported ChevronTexaco Inc. will exercise its right to retain its proportionate 26.5% common stock ownership interest in the company. ChevronTexaco will purchase 10.4 million shares of Class B common stock, with net proceeds from the sale totaling $205 million. The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including debt reduction, according to the company.

The California Energy Commission is accepting applications for funding under its Solar Energy and Distributed Generation Grant Program. The program provides grants to California residents to help offset the cost of purchasing and installing new solar energy and distributed generation systems. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the available funds are exhausted.

Norway's Statoil ASA and three partners reported plans to create a regional gas market in the Grenland industrial area of southeast Norway. Naturgass Grenland AS is owned 30% each by Statoil, Norsk Hydro AS, and Skagerak Energi AS, while Gasnor ASA has a 10% holding. The next step will be to identify which companies in the region could convert to gas from heating oil.

Canada's ATCO Power, a unit of the ATCO Group, has completed a 15-year, $150 million nonrecourse financing of its ownership interests in six independent Alberta power projects. The financing was arranged through the Royal Bank of Scotland, which intends to syndicate it with other banks. The financing covers power plants totaling almost 300 Mw.

Aquila, a unit of UtiliCorp United Inc., is expanding its line of weather products to include a financial hedge against crop yield volatility. The new product is slated to be on the market for the 2002 growing season for corn, soybeans, and wheat. The company expects to finalize plans to extend the program to include most oil seed and grain products by 2003.

William T. McCormick Jr., CEO of CMS Energy Corp., Dearborn, Mich., has been appointed by US Sec. of Energy Spencer Abraham to serve on the department's Electricity Advisory Board. Abraham established the board to provide expert advice, information, and recommendations on a range of electricity issues.