Electric Power news briefs, November 2

Southwest Gas Corp. ... Tampa Electric Co. ... Derivion Corp ... Nicor Gas Inc. ... Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. ... Washington Group International Inc. ... Unitil Corp. ... NiSource Inc. ... Columbia Energy Group Inc. ... Quanta Services ... Enel SPA ... CHI Energy ... Sierra Pacific Power Co. ... Calpine Corp. ... Aquila Energy ... WGL Holdings ... Dais-Analytic Corp. ... LG-Caltex Oil ... Northern Border Partners ... ScottishPower... Evergreen Solar Inc. ... Enbridge


Southwest Gas Corp. reported a net loss of $9.7 million or 31�/share on revenue of $199 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, compared to a net loss of $14.2 million or 46�/share loss on revenue of $166.3 million for the third quarter of 1999. Due to the seasonal nature of the business, the company said net losses during the third quarter are normal and not generally indicative of earnings for a complete 12-month period.

Tampa Electric Co. has chosen Derivion Corp., Atlanta, to help implement an e-billing system for the utility's west central Florida customers. The system will allow customers to access, view, and pay their electric bills via Tampa Electric's web site, Derivion said. The system is expected to be in place as early as January 2001. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Nicor Gas Inc. said it received approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission to continue the company's voluntary program offering customers a choice of natural gas suppliers. The decision allows the pilot program to continue by allowing more than 440,000 customers in 16 communities who were eligible this year another opportunity to sign up in 2001. Meanwhile, the commission has begun hearings into Nicor's filing to open the program to all customers in its service territory.

Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. has selected Washington Group International Inc. to provide engineering and procurement services for a repowering project at the East River generating station in New York City. The project consists of two dual-fuel General Electric 7FA combustion turbines, two supplementary fired heat recovery steam generators, and associated equipment to supply up to 3 million lbs/hr of steam to Consolidated Edison's steam distribution system, and up to 288 Mw net to the local distribution network. Washington Group began engineering and procurement for the project in July 2000. Operation is targeted for summer of 2002.

Unitil Corp. reported net income of $1 million or 23�/share on revenue of $44.5 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, compared to net income of $1.6 million or 12�/share on revenue of $42.7 million in the third quarter 1999. The company attributed the earnings decrease to a 6� reduction in earnings from utility operations, as well as a 6� reduction in earnings related to planned startup costs of the company's e-commerce business, Usource.

NiSource Inc. said it completed the acquisition Columbia Energy Group Inc., establishing the largest US natural gas distributor east of the Rocky Mountains, with wholesale and retail gas and electric operations. NiSource companies now access a region that is home to 30% of the nation's population and 40%of its energy consumption. NiSource distribution companies serve 3.6 million gas and electric customers primarily in nine states.

Quanta Services Inc. reported net income of $40.5 million or 43�/share on revenue of $478.8 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, compared to net income of $19.1 million or 34�/share on revenue of $271.8 million for the comparable 1999 quarter. The company said it expects internal revenue growth for the full year 2000 in the range of 26-28%, operating income margins of 13.9-14.1% and earnings per share of $1.67-$1.69. Looking forward to 2001, the company reported it expects internal revenue growth in the range of 15-20% and earnings per share of $2.08-$2.12.

Enel SPA (Enel), through its wholly owned subsidiary Erga SPA, said reached an agreement to acquire CHI Energy Inc.(CHI), Stamford, Conn., , a developer of renewable power projects in North America, for $170 million. Major investors in CHI include Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. and UBS AG, London. Under the terms of the agreement, approximately $142 million in CHI debt will remain outstanding. Enel's first US acquisition, the company said it complements a worldwide growth strategy in its core electric business and creates additional expansion opportunities throughout North and Latin America. With this acquisition, Erga will have 389 power plants and a combined generating capacity of approximately 2,000 Mw.

Sierra Pacific Power Co., a unit of Sierra Pacific Resources, said it filed the Public Utility Commission of Nevada (PUCN) to recover $26.8 million in additional natural gas fuel costs. Average residential customers bills' will rise about 35%/therm, to $44.45/month from $33.15/month, the company said.

Calpine Corp. and UtiliCorp United Inc. subsidiary Aquila Energy, reported the completion of a $270 million construction and leverage lease financing of the Aries power project, a 600 Mw gas-fired power plant under construction in Pleasant Hill, Mo. Calpine and Aquila, each 50% owners of Aries, are developing the facility. Union Bank of California NA and its affiliate Bankers Commercial Corp. arranged and underwrote the construction and leveraged lease financing. Deutsche Genossenschaftsbank AG and Credit Lyonnais co-underwrote the debt financing. The majority of the plant�s capacity has already been sold under a 4-year contract to Missouri Public Service, a division of UtiliCorp

Five companies considering entering the emerging competitive Texas market have formed the Alliance for Retail Markets (ARM) to ensure the rules for restructuring the Texas electricity market are fair and open, said founding member Green Mountain Energy Co. Other coalition members include AES NewEnergy Inc., Enron Energy Services Inc., Exelon Energy, and the New Power Co. ARM will participate in the Public Utility Commission of Texas' restructuring proceedings, as well as activities before the Texas State Legislative Oversight Committee on Electric Restructuring, members said.

Under a corporate restructuring, WGL Holdings Inc. becomes the parent company of Washington Gas Light Co. a regulated natural gas utility, and other subsidiaries that operated under Washington Gas prior to the change, said CEO James H. DeGraffenreidt, Jr WGL Holdings Inc. will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol, WGL, previously used by Washington Gas Light Co.

Fuel cell developer Dais-Analytic Corp., Odessa, Fla., and LG-Caltex Oil, part of the Korean LG Group conglomerate, and KIPEX, a technology transfer and venture development company based in Seoul have formed a joint venture company, Clean Energy Technologies Inc., to be headquartered in Seoul, Dais-Analytic reported. The new company will manufacture, market, and service stationary power generators in the Asia Pacific region based on Dais-Analytic's fuel cell technology.

Northern Border Partners LP said it has offered 1.875 million common units at $29/unit under a shelf registration statement. The public offering is being managed by PaineWebber Inc., Salomon Smith Barney, and Lehman Brothers and is scheduled to close on Nov. 7, 2000. The net proceeds from the offering will be used to repay debt. Funds borrowed under the credit agreements were used to finance the acquisition of the Crestone Energy Ventures businesses from Enron North America, a unit of Enron Corp., in Sept. 2000.

ScottishPower PLC reported its subsidiary, PacifiCorp, Nov. 1 filed a rate case seeking a net price increase of $85 million from the Oregon Public Utility Commission as required under Senate Bill 1149, the state's electric industry restructuring law. A major part of the requested increase in rates is for higher forecast power costs, the company said. If approved, the net increase would be fully implemented by Oct. 1, 2001.

Evergreen Solar Inc., Waltham, Mass., which develops, manufactures and markets solar power products, said an initial public offering of 3 million shares at $14/share is expected to raise $42 million in gross proceeds to the company. Banc of America Securities LLC is the lead managing underwriter for the offering and CIBC World Markets and FAC/Equities, a division of First Albany Corp., are comanagers.

Enbridge Inc., Calgary, reported net income of $45.8 million (Can.) or 28�/share on revenue of $683.3 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, compared to net income of $36.5 million or 24�/share on revenue of $552.2 million in the comparable 1999 quarter. The company attributed the 13% earnings increase to "solid" operating results from the Energy Services and Gas Distribution businesses and reductions in corporate income tax rates.

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