Electric Power news briefs, August 28

Dominion Resources Inc. ... Beck & Co. ... GreenVolt Corp. ... Avista Corp. ... Detroit Edison Co. ... Harbin Power Co. Ltd. ... Foster Wheeler Energy Corp. ... Tuoketuo Electric Power Generation Corp. Ltd. ... Carolina Power & Light Co. ... Florida Power Corp. ... Fitch IBCA ... Green Mountain Power Corp.


Dominion Resources Inc.said Monday it will do business from now on under the name Dominion, following the merger earlier this year with Consolidated Natural Gas Co., Pittsburgh. The company's legal name will remain Dominion Resources Inc., Chairman Thomas Capps said. Effective Sept. 3, Virginia Power will do business as Dominion Virginia Power and North Carolina Power will do business as Dominion North Carolina Power. On the gas side, The East Ohio Gas Co. will do business as Dominion East Ohio, The Peoples Natural Gas Co. as Dominion Peoples, and Hope Gas Inc. as Dominion Hope.

Beck & Co. reported it issued 12.4 million shares of its common stock to the existing shareholders of GreenVolt Corp., Orillia, Ont., to acquire 100% of all the outstanding common shares of the Ontario-based corporation. GreenVolt is involved in the business of developing and commercializing alkaline fuel cell systems and products for use in transportation, stationary, and portable power applications. As a result of the transaction, previous Beck & Co. directors have resigned and concurrently appointed Thomas Faul, president, and John Munro, secretary �treasurer. Beck & Co. is currently in the process of changing the name of the corporation to GreenVolt Power Corp, to reflect the new business of the company.

Avista Corp. subsidiary, Avista Labs, reported it has received a patent covering its 73 claims for the electronic control system that significantly enhances the performance of its modular, cartridge-based, proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The new patent, which covers the control schemes that maximize the output of each modular cartridge, has been under review by the US Patent and Trademark Office for 2 years. Earlier this year, Avista Labs received a comprehensive patent for the modular design of its cartridge-based PEM fuel cell power system.

Detroit Edison Co.said it will spend $46 million this year to maintain a 10-foot clearance between tree branches and power lines in nearly 40 southeastern Michigan communities during the next 2 months to reduce power outages. The company said an intensified tree trimming program resulted in a 12% decrease in overhead power line outages and a 45% drop in downed wire cases by mid-June. The utility trims an average of 800,000 of the 3.5 million trees in its service area each year to reduce the potential for power outages.

Harbin Power Co. Ltd. has awarded a contract to Foster Wheeler Corp.'s subsidiary, Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., to supply 12 MBF coal pulverizers for a new power project in the People's Republic of China, Foster Wheeler reported. Delivery of the pulverizers is scheduled for the end of 2001 and the startup of the project is scheduled in 2002. The MBF pulverizer, a vertical shaft ring and roller type mill, grinds and reduces coal to a powder form to burn efficiently in the boiler. The power project will have a boiler island with two coal-fired 600 Mw boilers, each utilizing six MBF pulverizers. The plant is being constructed near the city of Tuoketuo in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region by the Tuoketuo Electric Power Generation Corp. Ltd. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank, is financing the project.

Carolina Power & Light Co., (CP&L), a subsidiary of CP&L Energy Inc., said it is seeking proposals from prospective buyers for two blocks of firm capacity for up to 6 years. CP&L issued a request for proposals, asking prospective purchasers to bid on blocks of 85 Mw of capacity from CP&L system resources and 50 Mw from Florida Power Corp. (FPC) system resources. Florida Power Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida Progress Corp., which CP&L Energy is in the process of acquiring. CP&L said it will hold a bidders meeting on the request for proposals in September and expects to receive responses in November for delivery beginning in April 2001.

Fitch IBCA said it has downgraded the credit ratings of Green Mountain Power Corp. (GMP) to below investment grade and maintained the ratings on Rating Watch Negative, affecting about $103 million of debt and preferred securities. Fitch said the downgrade reflects GMP's increased cash requirements related to higher power supply expenses and its "severely limited" financial flexibility, resulting from continued delay and uncertainty surrounding resolution of a pending rate case. The company's financial viability "remains highly dependent on the granting of adequate rate relief by the regulators," Fitch analysts said. It said GMP has implemented cost reductions, including layoffs, that should yield lower capital expenditures and rental expense, this year.

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