Electric Power news briefs, Mar. 9

IPALCO Enterprises ... AES ... UtiliCorp United ... IES Utilities ... Alliant Energy Corp. ... PSEG Global ... Sociedad Austral de Electricidad ... Companhia de Petroleos de Chile ... Empresa El�rica de la Frontera ... Middle Egypt Electrical Co. ... Foxboro Co. ... Egyptian Electrical Holding Co. ... Comisi�n Federal de Electricidad ... TransAlta ... Black Hills Energy Capital Inc. ... Enron ... ScottishPower ... Powergen ... New Power Co. ... NRG Energy ... Prima Energy .... Dynegy


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved acquisition of IPALCO Enterprises Inc. by AES Corp. The deal was first announced July 17, 2000. The acquisition is scheduled to close within 5 business days of pending US Securities and Exchange approval.

UtiliCorp United Inc. said it completed an offering of 10 million shares of common stock at $29.76/share. Net proceeds of $288.7 million will be used to repay short-term debt and for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment of long-term debt. Prior to the offering, the company had 101 million common shares outstanding.

IES Utilities Inc., a subsidiary of Madison, Wis.-based Alliant Energy Corp., said it sold $200 million in 10-year unsecured senior debentures. Proceeds of the offering will be used to repay both maturing long-term debt and outstanding short-term debt incurred to finance capital expenditures. Such expenditures were used to upgrade the utility infrastructure in IES Utilities' service territory as well as for general corporate purposes. IES said it expects to spend $2 billion on utility infrastructure improvements.

PSEG Global, a unit of New Jersey-based PSEG Holdings Inc., said Friday it will buy 94% of Chilean electricity distributor Sociedad Austral de Electricidad SA (Saesa) from Companhia de Petroleos de Chile SA (COPEC). The deal includes Saesa's 86% stake in Empresa El�rica de la Frontera SA (Frontel), which distributes electricity in southern Chile. PSEG Global said it would acquire directly from COPEC the other 14% of Frontel. PSEG said it would pay $460 million in the deal. The terms require PSEG to tender for the remaining 6% of Saesa on the Santiago stock exchange.

Egypt's Middle Egypt Electrical Co. (MEEC) has selected Foxboro Co., a unit of Invensys Process Automation, to supply and install the distribution management system (DMS) and associated supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system for the Minea-Assuit DMS modernization project, the company reported. The systems will enable operators, located at a central control station, to monitor critical information in real time and deliver it, as needed, to service crews, customers, planners, managers, and executives. Headquartered in Minea, MEEC is one of seven regional electric companies under the Egyptian Electrical Holding Co.

Mexico's Comisi�n Federal de Electricidad (CFE) selected TransAlta Corp. to build and operate a $192 million, 258 Mw power plant in Chihuahua, TransAlta reported. CFE, the state-run utility, will purchase 100% of the power from the plant under a 25-year power purchase agreement. In addition, TransAlta will have a long-term fuel supply agreement with Enron. Subject to final contracts and permitting, construction of the Chihuahua plant is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2001, with commercial operations projected for second quarter 2003.

Black Hills Energy Capital Inc., Black Hills Corp.'s power subsidiary, said it signed a definitive agreement to purchase a 240 Mw gas-fired turbine generation facility located near Colorado Springs, Colo. from Enron North America, a unit of Enron Corp. The transaction is expected to close around March 31, 2001. All necessary permitting has been approved and the plant is expected to phase in its generation capacity beginning in July 2001. The contract is a tolling arrangement in which Black Hills said it assumes no fuel costs.

The UK's ScottishPower PLC said it completed the �217 million purchase of the 715 Mw Rye House power station from Powergen PLC. A provision for the excess cost of the gas purchase contract will be made to ScottishPower's balance sheet consistent with the original estimate of the effective price of the acquisition at 450/kw of installed capacity.

The New Power Co., a unit of NewPower Holdings Inc., said it has begun selling electricity to residential customers of TXU Electric & Gas, a unit of TXU Corp., and Reliant Energy HL&P, a unit of Reliant Energy Inc. in Texas. Consumers who select the 'peace of mind' option will lock in a fixed rate for 2years, while those who chose the 'guaranteed savings'' plan will have an adjustable rate that is guaranteed to be lower than the local utility, the company said.

NRG Energy Inc. said it priced a secondary public offering of 16 million shares of common stock at $27/share and $250 million of equity units, representing 10 million units at $25/share.In addition to receiving a 6.5% coupon, equity unit investors are obligated to purchase shares of NRG common stock for $32.94/share in 3 years. The proceeds will be used to repay amounts outstanding under a bridge financing facility NRG entered into to fund its acquisition of LS Power LLC's 5,633 Mw portfolio of projects as well as fund general corporate purposes. The gross proceeds from the offering are expected to be about $682 million.

Prima Energy Corp., Denver, said it acquired or controls 77,000 gross and 73,000 net acres on the Wasatch Plateau in central Utah. The company's leasehold position is 12-15 miles northwest of Price, Utah, and the Drunkard's Wash coalbed methane (CBM) field. The primary CBM target on Prima's lease block is the Emery coal formation. The block contains total Emery coal thicknesses of up to 178 ft, the company reported. Prima said it plans to begin testing and evaluating the block later this year.

Dynegy Marketing and Trade (DMT), a subsidiary of Dynegy Inc., said it is requesting proposals for interested parties to purchase up to 1,000 Mw of power products from DMT resources in the New York Power Pool (NYPP) and Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM), starting as early as summer 2001.

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