Electric Power news briefs, Feb. 13

Calpine Corp. ... Reliant Energy Services Inc. ... El Paso Corp. ... Cinergy Solutions Inc. ... BP ... PECO Energy ... AES Southland LLC ... Mirant Corp. ... PPL Electric Utilities ... Alliance Data Systems ... Utilipro Inc. ... AGL Resources Inc. ... National Thermal Power Corp. ... Petronet LNG ... Gujarat Pipavav LNG Ltd.

Calpine Corp. said it will build 600 Mw of electric generation capacity in Wisconsin. Calpine unit SkyGen Energy said it signed a 10-year contract to supply Alliant Energy Corp.'s Wisconsin Power & Light (WP&L) with 453 Mw of the output, with the remaining power to be available for sale on the open market. The $350 million RiverGen Energy Center, which will have two combustion turbines running on natural gas and one on the steam generated by the first two, will be located near WP&L's existing facility near Beloit. Construction is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2001 with commercial operations expected to start in the third quarter of 2003.

Reliant Energy Services Inc., a unit of Reliant Energy Inc., said it entered into tolling agreements with affiliates of El Paso Corp. to buy power from facilities to be constructed in Florida. Reliant Energy Services will purchase the rights to utilize and dispatch 1,100 Mw of electric generating capacity. This electricity will be generated by two new, natural gas-fired, simple cycle peaking plants, with fuel oil backup, which will be completed in the spring and summer of 2002. These facilities, to be owned by units of El Paso, will be located in Pasco and Hardee counties. Value of the agreements was not disclosed.

Cinergy Solutions Inc., a Cinergy Corp. affiliate, said it finalized an energy services agreement with BP to construct, own, and operate two natural gas cogeneration projects. Combined, the projects will produce more than 800 Mw of electricity and 3.5 million lb/hr of steam for BP's Texas City and Chocolate Bayou, Tex., refining and chemicals sites. The projects, which will be built through a joint venture between Cinergy Solutions and BP, will reduce net carbon dioxide emissions by 727,000 tons/year and will allow BP to reduce its nitrogen oxides emissions by 53% at Texas City and 34% at Chocolate Bayou. The Chocolate Bayou project is scheduled to be operational in 2002 and Texas City, in 2004.

PECO Energy Co. reported it is planning $150 million in improvements over 5 years. The company said the 80-project plan includes both natural gas and electric initiatives for improving service reliability, replacement of obsolete equipment, expanding system capacity to serve increasing energy demand, and investments in new technology. They include building new substations in Upper Providence and Audubon; in Eagle, Chester County; and in Philadelphia. Capacity also will be increased with the installation of additional power transformers at Woodbourne substation in Middletown, Bucks County, and the Lenape substation in East Bradford, Chester County. New gas gate stations will be built in southern Chester County and the lower Bucks County areas.

AES Southland LLC, a unit of AES Corp., said it will continue to operate about 4,000 Mw of generating capacity in southern California, in response to an emergency order issued by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. AES Southland planned to shut down the units because it could not continue to operate them and still comply with existing environmental regulations. The 10-day order, which can be renewed by the district, allows AES and other generators in the South Coast Air District to continue operating without violating rules implementing the Clean Air Act. AES Southland has pending permits to retrofit emission controls on eight generating units at a cost of $38 million.

Mirant Corp. said it will a build 320 Mw natural gas-fueled peaking plant in Danville, Va. The power plant could potentially have 870 Mw of generation capacity when expanded to a combined cycle configuration, the company said. The conversion to a combined-cycle configuration would occur if the company determines the power plant is needed for day-to-day electricity production needs. Mirant expects the plant to be operational by 2003-2004.

PPL Electric Utilities, a unit of PPL Corp., Allentown, Pa., said it successfully cleaned up PCB spills involving 113 electric pole sites. The $2 million project involved poles from Williamsport, Pa., to the Maryland border, the company said. In the past, PCB synthetic fluid was commonly used in capacitors on power poles. However, the company began to phase out the use of PCB containing equipment in the 1980s.

Alliance Data Systems, Dallas, Tex., has agreed to buy Utilipro Inc. from AGL Resources Inc., AGL reported. Utilipro is an customer care solutions and billing services provider for US energy marketers. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter, and will add to earnings, AGL said. Terms were not disclosed.

India's National Thermal Power Corp. (NTPC) proposed adopting competitive bidding for purchasing LNG under long-term contracts for four gas-fired power stations of 650 Mw each at Anta, Auraiya, Kawas, and Gandhar. If approved by the board, it would open the doors to LNG terminal developers such as the Royal Dutch/Shell Group and Tata-Total to bid for supply of gas for the projects. The Gas Authority of India Ltd. has forged a three-way LNG joint venture with French company TotalFinaElf SA and India's Tata Group. The proposal amounts to a reversal of NTPC�s earlier decision to purchase gas for its Anta and Auraiya plants from Petronet LNG, and for Kawas and Gandhar from Gujarat Pipavav LNG Ltd.

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