Electric Power news briefs, May 1, 2001

PSEG Global ... Westmoreland Coal Co. ... Montana Power Co ... ATCO Group ... Mirant Corp. ... Consol Energy Inc. ... Cleco Corp. ... American Electric Power Co. Inc. ... Lone Star Technologies Inc. ... Huntco Inc. ... Enron Industrial Markets ... DTE Energy Technologies ... CMS Energy Corp. ... PG&E Corp. ... CanArgo Energy Corp.


PSEG Global, a unit of PSEG Holdings, Inc., said the 330 Mw combined cycle PPN generation station in Pillai Perumalnallur (PPN) in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has begun commercial operation. The facility is currently being run on naphtha and will switch to a mixture of naphtha and natural gas as offshore gas wells are completed. The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board will purchase the entire output of the plant under a power purchase agreement.

Westmoreland Coal Co. said its unit Westmoreland Mining completed the $138 million purchase of Montana Power Co.'s coal properties which together produced 19 million tons of coal in 2000. The coal operations acquired from Montana Power include Western Energy Co., Colstrip, Montana, and Northwestern Resources Co., Jewett, Tex. In a separate transaction, Westmoreland Mining said it is acquiring the coal assets of Knife River Corp.

ATCO Ltd. said it wants to sell its natural gas and electricity distribution units ATCO Gas and ATCO Electric which service more than 1 million Albertans. ATCO Pres. Craighton Twa said he hopes to have the units sold by June and to have a regulatory ruling on the sales by fall. He declined to put a price on the assets, but analysts estimate they are worth between $1.5 billion-$1.6 billion (Can.)

Under a 20-year tolling agreement, Mirant Corp. will supply gas to fuel a $340 million 700 Mw plant under construction in Perryville, La., and will own and market the plant's output. Perryville Energy Partners LLC, a 50-50 joint venture between Cleco Corp. and Mirant , will operate and maintain the plant. The first phase, a 150 Mw peaking unit, is expected to be operating in time to meet this summer's power demand. The second phase, a 550 Mw combined cycle unit, is set to begin commercial operation in 2002.

Consol Energy Inc. said it has entered into a memorandum of understanding to buy American Electric Power Co. Inc.'s affiliate coal mines in Ohio and West Virginia. Under the proposed agreement Consol Energy would purchase the stock of Windsor Coal Co., West Liberty, W.Va.; Southern Ohio Coal Co., Wilkesville, Ohio; and Central Ohio Coal Co., Cumberland, Ohio. In addition, AEP would enter into coal supply agreements with Consol Energy to purchase 34 million tons of coal from these and other Consol Energy affiliate mines through 2008. Terms were not disclosed.

Lone Star Technologies Inc. said it has begun an expansion of its Quebec, Canada, finned tubing facilities. The expansion will double the capacity to meet growing demand in Canada and the US for finned tubing used in combined cycle electrical power generating plants. The company said a couple of large orders have been received and will be produced at the expanded facilities in the third quarter and the fourth quarter of 2001.

Huntco Inc. and Enron Industrial Markets, a unit of Enron Corp., said they have signed a 15-year definitive agreement under which Enron will provide inventory price risk management services and will eventually provide more than 600,000 tons/year of hot-rolled, cold-rolled, and galvanized steel products to Huntco Steel. Additionally, the agreements provide for Enron's acquisition of Huntco's cold rolling and certain coil pickling operations in Blytheville, Ark., and the extension of a term loan from Enron to Huntco under transactions totaling $27 million. All transactions are scheduled to close on or before June 30, 2001.

DTE Energy Technologies, a nonregulated subsidiary of DTE Energy Co., said it acquired Alliance Energy Companies Ltd., of Minneapolis, a distributor of standby and distributed generation products and services with a network of sales offices in the US and Canada. Purchase price and terms were not disclosed.

Valley College in Los Angeles has awarded CMS Energy Corp.'s energy performance contracting unit, CMS Viron Energy Services, a $6.5 million contract. CMS Viron reported it is providing facility upgrades in 17 major buildings at Valley College that will lower energy costs and save about $9.4 million. Valley College is one of nine colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District.

PG&E Corp.'s National Energy Group said it will build a water intake system for its proposed gas-fired combined cycle 1,000 Mw Covert generation project near South Haven, Mich. The intake system also will be available to help supply the city's future water needs. The water system is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2002, at which time South Haven will assume custody and operation. Construction of the power plant is expected to begin this year.

CanArgo Energy Corp. said it is reached an agreement to acquire from a wholly owned subsidiary of Terrenex Acquisition Corp. the remaining 50% interest it did not own in CanArgo Power Corp. Upon completion of the transaction, CanArgo Power will become a wholly owned subsidiary of CanArgo. CanArgo Power owns a 3 Mw dual gas and diesel-fueled power plant plant which CanArgo intends to install in Georgia to provide a secure supply of electricity for its field and associated operations.

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