Electric Power news briefs, Aug. 24

FirstEnergy Corp. ... NRG Energy .. Koch Power ... Northern Border Partners ... Enron North America ... Fort Union Gas Gathering ... Lost Creek Gathering ... Tractebel ... PTT Natural Gas Distribution Co. ... Edison Sault Electric ... California Power Exchange ... Austeel Pty Ltd. ... North West Shelf Venture ... Nordic Electric ... CMS Marketing, Services, & Trading Co. ... DTE Energy Marketing ... Quest Energy ... Engage Energy US LP ... Nordic Marketing ... CMS MS&T Michigan LLC

The staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board has recommended conditional approval of FirstEnergy Corp. unit American Transmission System Inc.'s (ATSI) plan to construct about 12.5 miles of new 138 kv single-circuit overhead electric transmission line and associated switching equipment in Portage County, Ohio. The proposed transmission line will provide service from an existing electric substation near Ravenna, Ohio, to a new distribution substation in Streetsboro, Ohio. This project will go before the Ohio Power Siting Board for consideration later this year.

NRG Energy Inc. said a wholly owned subsidiary, NRG South Central Generating LLC, has acquired the Koch Power Louisiana Sterlington project from Koch Power Inc. Koch Power Louisiana currently consists of four generating units totaling 75 Mw of summer capacity. Plans call for a total of 10 combustion turbines capable of generating 200 Mw of power to be in place prior to the summer 2001 peak demand season. Louisiana Generating LLC, a subsidiary of NRG South Central, will operate the peaking power generation facility located in Sterlington, La.

Northern Border Partners LP has signed a letter of understanding to purchase gas gathering facilities in the Powder River and Wind River basins in Wyoming for about $200 million from Enron North America Corp. (ENA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Enron Corp. The transaction includes the purchase of Enron Midstream Services, LLC., which holds, among other assets, an ownership interest in Bighorn Gas Gathering LLC, and the ENA subsidiaries that hold ownership interests in Fort Union Gas Gathering LLC and Lost Creek Gathering LLC.

Tractebel, the energy unit of French utility Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, has agreed to buy the stake of BG International in PTT Natural Gas Distribution Co., Thailand's largest private gas distribution firm, for 350.9 million baht ($9 million). The deal raised Tractebel's holding in PTT NGD, which distributes gas to four industrial estates around the Thai capital, to 49% from 27%. According to BG International, PTT NGD supplies 42 local industrial users with more than 12 MMcfd of gas and provides transport capacity for a further 24 MMcfd. Pipeline networks are being constructed in two areas as part of PTT NGD's business, Tractebel said.

Edison Sault Electric Co. has until Aug. 31 to file a report detailing the reasons for electric power interruptions on Mackinac Island and its plans to remedy the problem, under an order from the Michigan Public Service Commission. In conjunction with the order, the commission said it will hold public hearings on the subject Sept. 13.

The California Power Exchange (CalPX) has filed a resolution asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to authorize a temporary $350/Mw-hr cap on day-of and day-ahead bids. CalPX said the action was taken to parallel the California Independent System Operator's decision to cap prices at $250/Mw-hr. A CalPX spokesman said FERC was not expected to take up the proposal until November.

Austeel Pty Ltd. and the North West Shelf (NWS) Venture participants have signed a memorandum of understanding under which North West Shelf will supply 315 terajoules/day of natural gas to a proposed $5 billion (Aus.) integrated iron and steel project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Austeel and NWS expect to finalize the agreement by yearend and expect to begin gas production to the project by 2003, Austeel said.

Michigan Public Service Commission has approved licenses for seven electric suppliers to sell electricity services to Michigan retail customers. Nordic Electric LLC; CMS Marketing, Services, & Trading Co.; DTE Energy Marketing Inc.; Quest Energy LLC; Engage Energy US LP; Nordic Marketing LLC; and CMS MS&T Michigan LLC were granted a license under the Customer Choice and Electricity Reliability Act of 2000. The new law allows the vast majority of retail customers of electric utilities to choose an alternative supplier by Jan. 1, 2002.

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