Electric Power news briefs, Feb. 22

Sempra Energy Resources ... CES Acquisition Corp. ... Montana Power Co. ... New York Power Authority ... Port of Port Arthur ... Sabine Power I Ltd. ... World Wireless Communications Inc. ... Texaco Natural Gas Inc. ... AES NewEnergy ... Quaker Oats Co. ... Enron Energy Services ... Sierra Pacific Resources ... Mirant Corp. ... Duke Energy North America

Sempra Energy Resources, the independent power generation subsidiary of Sempra Energy, said it will build a $350 million, 600 Mw combined cycle, gas-fired power plant near Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. The plant, Termoelectrica de Mexicali, will be connected to the US electric grid via a new, 230 kv transmission line. To date, Sempra has secured environmental, land use, water supply, and right-of-way permits from Mexican authorities. The plant will have to obtain a permit to export electricity from the Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission, and a presidential permit to import electricity from the US Energy Department. The power plant is expected to begin operations in the summer of 2003.

CES Acquisition Corp. has completed the previously reported $84.5 million purchase of Montana Power Co.'s independent power business, Montana Power said. The unit invested in and operated cogeneration and independent power plants through a subsidiary, Continental Energy Services, which has interests in four operating power projects in North America and one foreign project, with its share totaling 438 Mw of production and 500 Mw in development.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) will hold a public forum Mar. 26 concerning proposed revisions in rates for electricity generated at the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant which the agency purchases from Entergy Corp. for resale to utility customers. The proposed revisions relate to supplying electricity to utilities. The rates for businesses, nonprofit organizations, municipal electric systems, and rural electric cooperatives that purchase FitzPatrick-generated electricity from NYPA would be unaffected. The proposed rate revisions would take effect June 1 if approved by NYPA trustees.

The Port of Port Arthur said it has entered into an agreement with Sabine Power I Ltd. to study the feasibility of building a $1.75 billion petroleum coke gasification facilities and related electrical generation within the port's navigational district. Sabine Power I is in the process of raising $25 million in private equity capital to finance the preliminary design phase and to conduct feasibility studies, the port said.

World Wireless Communications Inc. said its X-traWeb subsidiary has signed a letter of understanding with Texaco Natural Gas Inc., a unit of Texaco Inc., for codevelopment, marketing, and sale of World Wireless's embedded X-traWeb technology to selected gas distribution customers of Texaco Natural Gas. X-traWeb's technology permits remote monitoring of natural gas consumption via the internet. The goal of the program is to gain real time information directly from downstream consumers, thereby aiding in the forecasting and purchasing of gas supplies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AES NewEnergy, a unit of AES Corp., has been granted an electric supplier license by the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control effective Feb. 7, 2001. The company said it will be able to sell power to commercial and industrial customers. AES NewEnergy is also a licensed electricity supplier in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware,and numerous other states across the country.

Quaker Oats Co. and Enron Energy Services, a subsidiary of Enron Corp., signed a 10-year in multimillion dollar energy management agreement under which Enron will manage the supply of electricity and natural gas and will provide operations and maintenance on energy assets, as well as related energy infrastructure upgrades to increase energy efficiency in Quaker's facilities, Enron reported. The contract covers 15 US Quaker facilities located in 11 states and two in Canada.

Sierra Pacific Resources and the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada reported Sierra Pacific will take steps later this month to dismiss the company's federal lawsuit challenging the Nevada deregulation law. Sierra Pacific agreed to drop the lawsuit as one of the terms of a settlement agreement. Sierra Pacific General Counsel William Peterson said the company always intended to honor the agreement.

US-based energy player Mirant Corp. is expected to bid for one of Singapore's three power generation companies, which will be sold to the private sector as part of a market liberalization plan. Rick Kuester, Mirant's Asia-Pacific managing director and chief executive officer, said that his company did not want to be just a trading operation. Mirant, the latest player to express interest, has not worked out the details of its intended bid, and there also is uncertainty over whether the company would seek local partners.

Duke Energy North America, a unit of Duke Energy Corp. said it broke ground on a combined cycle, gas-fired, 570 Mw $250 million electric power generating facility in Arlington Valley, Ariz. The plant will supply electric power to the wholesale market by summer 2002.

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