Electric Power news briefs, Mar. 27

Calpine Corp. ... Shell Chemical Co. ... European Union ... AES Corp. ... IPALCO Enterprises Inc. ... Market Hub Partners ... Logansport Electric Utility ... Kansas Corporation Commission ... New Power Co. ... Wisconsin Energy Corp. ... IntercontinentalExchange ... Duke Energy Knox LLC ... Mirant Corp.

Mar 27th, 2001


Calpine Corp. said it will build, own, and operate a 1,000 Mw natural gas-fired power facility in Deer Park, Tex. The plant will supply steam to Shell Chemical Co. and electric power generated at the facility will be sold on the wholesale market. Construction of the Deer Park plant is expected to begin in July 2001, with the first phase of the project operational by January 2003 and the second, larger phase operational by June 2004. As proposed, the facility will utilize four 185 Mw Siemens Westinghouse gas turbines, four Nooter-Ericksen heat recovery steam generators, and one 260 Mw steam turbine generator.

At the Stockholm European Union summit, with the political help of Germany, the French government managed to ward off setting specific dates for the full opening up of the electricity and gas markets. The commission, backed by the other EU members, advocated full opening up for industry and professional users of the electricity and gas markets by 2003 and full opening to ordinary clients by 2005. French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin insisted they are not opposed to liberalization but "it should be progressive, controlled, and socially acceptable." Faced with the discontent of other EU countries, especially Spain, which threatened to close the country to any ambitions of Electricity de France, the commission adopted a measure to insure "that enterprises which retain a monopoly situation on their market should not unduly take advantage of this situation."

The staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board conditionally recommended approval of Fremont Energy Center LLC's plan to construct a $260 million gas-fired combined cycle 540 Mw electric generation facility in Sandusky County, Ohio. Fremont Energy Center is a subsidiary of Calpine Corp. Natural gas would be delivered to the facility through a connection with a Dominion East Ohio Gas pipeline 1 mile north of the proposed construction site. The staff's recommendation of approval came with a request that 21 specific conditions become part of any certificate issued by the board. If approved, construction is projected to begin in May 2001, with commercial operation beginning in May 2003.

AES Corp. said it completed the acquisition of IPALCO Enterprises Inc., the Indianapolis-based utility with 3,000 Mw of generation and 433,000 customers. Complying with a US Securities and Exchange Commission order, AES will restructure and/or sell its ownership interests in Cilcorp within 2 years to continue as an exempt holding company under the Public Utility Holding Company Act.

Market Hub Partners (MHP), a unit of Duke Energy Corp., said it has begun open season for customers desiring rapid response natural gas storage services to be developed at MHP's Copiah salt cavern facility in Mississippi. The open season, or invitation for potential customers to express interest in Copiah's storage services, ends at the close of business Apr. 25. Copiah will offer storage services with 3 bcf of storage capacity, expandable to 9 bcf.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved a request by the Logansport Electric Utility to change its fuel cost charge for April, May, and June. The average customer who uses 1,000 kw-hr will save $5.93/month. Even though the commission approved an increase in the fuel cost charge to be applied in the next quarters� billing cycle, it found that the company overcollected its costs for October, November, and December 2000. The reduction is the result of the reconciliation of those costs.

The Kansas Corporation Commission extended an emergency order implementing a moratorium on service disconnections for natural gas and electric service through May 31.The order provides emergency relief for many customers to pay their utility bills resulting from the record-breaking natural gas prices experienced this past winter.

The New Power Co., a subsidiary of NewPower Holdings Inc., said it signed on over 5,000 residential customers in Texas since it began selling electricity in the Lone Star state Mar. 5. The company estimated customers will save 7-12% off current utility bills based on their choice of plans.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission today approved a request from Duke Energy Knox LLC to build and operate the $200 million 640 Mw power generation facility in Wheatland. Electricity generated at the facility will be sold solely on the wholesale market. Duke Energy Knox does not intend and is not authorized to sell any electricity generated from this facility to the public on a retail basis.

Wisconsin Energy Corp. said it agreed to sell $1 billion of senior unsecured securities, consisting of $550 million of 5.875% Senior Notes due Apr. 1, 2006, and $450 million of 6.50% Senior Notes due Apr. 1, 2011. It said the securities will be issued off an existing debt shelf registration filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The offering is scheduled to close Mar. 28.

IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) said it set a single day power trading record of 4 million Mw-hr Mar. 22. Power trading volume on ICE was centered on the popular Cinergy Hub. Trading volumes on ICE have been growing since the launch of global energy trading last October. The last record-trading day for ICE in US power markets was Feb. 27 with 3 million Mw-hr.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission today approved a request from Sugar Creek Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Mirant Corp., to build a 533 Mw power generation facility in Vigo County. Under a settlement agreement between Sugar Creek Energy and the Office of the Utility Consumer counselor, the company is expected to begin construction within 2 years of the order, but if the combined cycle portion of the facility is not complete in 4 years, the order will terminate. Electricity generated at the facility will be sold solely on the wholesale market.

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