Electric Power news briefs, June 26

CS Energy Ltd. ... Santos Ltd. ... Columbia Energy Group ... Duke/Fluor Daniel ... Utilimax ... Maine Natural Gas ... FirstEnergy Services Corp. ... Kent State University ... American Electric Power ... PG&E Corp.


CS Energy Ltd., a Queensland power generator, is purchasing up to 120 petajoules of natural gas over 10-15 years from Santos Ltd., Santos confirmed. Santos will supply the gas from Scotia field on Permit ATP-378-P in Bowen basin, in eastern Queensland. It will be piped south via a new spur pipeline to connect with the existing pipeline between Cooper basin and Brisbane and then to CS Energy�s proposed 385 Mw gas turbine at the company�s Swanbank power station in Ipswich west of Brisbane. The unit will come on stream in July 2002. Santos also named Stephen Gerlach deputy chairman. Gerlach, who is expected to succeed retiring Chairman John Uhrig next year, has been a Santos director since 1989. Further moves in the company�s top management will take place when John McCardle, executive general manager and commercial director, retires in July 2001. Earlier this year, Santos Managing Director Ross Adler said he will retire in September.

Columbia Energy Group unit Columbia Electric Corp. has selected Duke/Fluor Daniel to provide engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) for Columbia's 530 Mw Liberty Electric power project at Eddystone, Pa. Duke/Fluor Daniel, a partnership of Duke Energy Corp. and Fluor Corp. unit Fluor Daniel Inc., will provide turnkey EPC and commissioning services for the plant. The contract value was not disclosed. Construction is scheduled to begin in July, with commercial operation planned for first quarter 2002.

Utilimax, Inc., Philadelphia, an internet-enabled bundled service provider, was granted a license June 23 to sell power to business customers by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Utilimax has offices in Sea Girt, NJ. Utilimax currently supplies electricity in Pennsylvania and telecommunication services nationwide. Utilimax said it plans to expand electricity service to 10 states by yearend.

The US government has awarded a multiyear contract to Maine Natural Gas to provide natural gas transportation service to the Brunswick Naval Air Station (BNAS), Brunswick, Me. Contract terms include delivery service to 33 buildings and 72 new housing units on the naval station and additional housing complexes in Brunswick and nearby Topsham. Maine Natural Gas plans to serve the BNAS by tapping the Maritimes & Northeast Transmission Pipeline in Pownal and then constructing a new underground pipeline to Freeport and continuing on to Brunswick and Topsham. Work on the 18-mile project is expected to begin this summer with a tentative completion date of Sept. 1, 2001. Maine Natural Gas is a joint venture of CMP Group Inc. and Energy East Corp. Maine Natural Gas Pres. Tim D. Kelley said the contract ensures natural gas infrastructure will be built to begin serving other consumers along the Midcoast Maine region.

Kent State University has selected FirstEnergy Services Corp., a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., for a 3-year master energy services agreement. Under the contract, FirstEnergy will serve as Kent State's energy manager, assisting the main campus and seven regional campuses in securing competitive prices for electricity, natural gas, and energy-efficiency projects. David Creamer, vice-president of finance, said he expects the agreement to save the university significant sums. In addition to electricity and natural gas, FirstEnergy Services will offer Kent State facilities services, energy conservation audits, renovation, new construction, and energy analyses of existing facilities.

American Electric Power Co. Inc. said Cook nuclear plant Unit 2 at Bridgman, Mich., returned to service Sunday. The reactor was operating at 9% power and will begin a controlled ascension to full power over the next 5-7 days. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission concurred that the plant was safe and ready for restart. Restart ends the 33-month shutdown for the unit. Cook's Unit 2 has a generating capacity of 1,090 Mw. AEP will now enter a planning period to establish a restart schedule for Unit 1.

PG&E Corp. said its national energy group expects to apply to the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council this fall for a license to build the550 Mw Umatilla natural gas-fired power plant in eastern Oregon. The company expects to begin construction by late 2001 and have the plant ready for commercial operation in 2003. The plant will consist of two 275-Mw units and will be equipped with advanced-technology pollution control equipment. Company officials said the Umatilla project will be PG&E's first merchant power plant in the Pacific Northwest. The Umatilla plant will be connected to the PG&E National Energy Group's natural gas pipeline system, Gas Transmission Northwest, providing incremental demand of 84,000 dekatherms/day on the system.

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