Electric Power news briefs, Feb. 26

Mobile Gas ... UtiliCorp United Inc. ... Aquila Inc. ... Invensys PLC ... Manufacturers Association of New York City .. AES NewEnergy Inc. ... Capstone Turbine Corp. ... Advantica Technologies Ltd. ... Endesa SA ... Repsol-YPF ... Electricite de France ... Edenor ... Schlumberger Resource Management Services Inc. ... AGL Capital Corp. ... Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. ... Philadelphia Gas Works ... NSTAR

Feb 26th, 2001


Mobile Gas, a unit of EnergySouth Inc.,
, Mobile, Ala., filed for a 13% reduction in gas costs with the Alabama Public Service Commission beginning in March. The more recent moderate weather has reduced demand for natural gas and has resulted in lower prices from natural gas producers, although prices are still well above historical levels, the company said.

UtiliCorp United Inc. said it plans to issue 10 million shares of common stock. Net proceeds of the transaction will be used for the repayment of short-term debt and for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment of long-term debt, UtiliCorp said. The offering is expected to be concluded by early March 2001. Separately, UtiliCorp United said its wholly owned subsidiary Aquila Energy has changed its name to Aquila Inc.

The UK's Invensys PLC said it purchased Messner Gesellschaft fur Umwelt-, Energie- und Gebaudetechnik MBH, a German supplier of commercial building management systems and temperature-control installations. Messner, a privately held company based in Adelsdorf, near Nuremberg, will become part of the Invensys Building Systems (Europe) business unit, based in Slough, UK. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

The Manufacturers Association of New York City (MANYC) has entered into an exclusive agreement with AES NewEnergy Inc., a unit of AES Corp., to supply retail electricity to members. MANYC represents 3,000 manufacturers throughout the five boroughs of New York City and is a nonprofit association that acts as an advocate and better support for purchasing decisions.

Capstone Turbine Corp. reported it has reached a distribution agreement for the UK and Ireland with Advantica Technologies Ltd., formerly BG Technology Ltd., under which Advantica has contracted to purchase 250 Capstone MicroTurbine power systems from Capstone over the course of 2 years. Advantica is a provider of technology and engineering services to customers in gas, pipelines, and associated industries.

Spanish power firm Endesa SA and oil group Repsol-YPF said they struck a preliminary deal to sell their stakes in Argentine power distributor Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte SA (Edenor) to France's Electricite de France (EDF). EDF International will purchase all direct and indirect stakes in Edenor from Endesa International and Astra CAPSA , an Argentine unit of Repsol-YPF, Endesa and Repsol-YPF said in separate statements. EDF said the deal would raise its stake in Edenor to 81% from 32%. The agreement provides for the start of a 30-day negotiation period between the companies, they said.

Schlumberger Resource Management Services Inc., a unit of Schlumberger Ltd., said it connected the five millionth consumer under its CellNet wireless fixed network for data communication. The Schlumberger technology provides utilities with the capability to remotely capture high volumes of real-time consumption information and deliver advanced information services. Utilities use Schlumberger advanced information services to provide consumers with power usage information needed to make informed energy choices, reduce peak loads from the energy network, and save money on their power bills.

AGL Capital Corp., Atlanta, Ga., a wholly owned financing subsidiary of AGL Resources Inc., said it completed placement of its $300 million senior notes. The coupon rate on the 10-year senior notes is 7.125% with interest payable semiannually. The senior notes are unsecured, and will have a final maturity date of Jan. 14, 2011. The net proceeds from the sale of the senior notes will be used to reduce short-term debt obligations.

The Nine Mile Point Unit 2 nuclear plant was taken out of service Feb. 25 for scheduled maintenance, Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. reported. The plant is expected to return to service in 1 week. During the period, work will be done on a reactor recirculation flow control valve position indication system and in the electricity transmission switchyard adjacent to the plant. Niagara Mohawk operates and is a 41% co-owner of the 1,124 Mw Nine Mile 2 plant.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved a settlement with the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) that preserves the PUC�s authority to oversee the process for selecting an experienced independent manager to run the utility. In exchange, the financially strapped utility will be allowed to collect a previously authorized interim base rate increase of $11 million. The settlement permits PGW to raise the monthly service charge for residential customers to recover $11 million between now and Aug. 31. PGW will also be allowed to raise its gas cost rate by an additional $7 million to cover the bad debt expense associated with sharply escalating costs of wholesale natural gas.

NSTAR, Boston, Mass., filed a request with the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy (DTE) to drop its cost of gas adjustment by 18% to 94�/therm from $1.11/therm effective Mar. 1, 2001. If approved, the requested rate reduction will save the average NSTAR Gas heating customer about $25/month. The decrease reflects lower projected prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange that would reduce NSTAR's cost of gas by almost $20 million through the end of April 2001.

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