Electric Power news briefs, August 23

Hydro-Qu�c ... Allegheny Energy Inc. ... Gaz de France ... TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. ... Public Service Co. of Colorado. ... Altra Energy Technologies Inc. ... Global Thermoelectric Inc. ... Goepel McDermid Inc. ... TD Securities Inc. ... CP&L Energy Inc. ... Florida Progress Corp. ... Astris Energi Inc. ... Dynegy Coal Trading & Transportation LLC ... SolArc Inc. ... Duke/Fluor Daniel


Hydro-Qu�c, Montreal, reported capital expenditures in 2000 will total about $2.3 billion (Can.), up from $2.1 billion in 1999. This program includes investments of about $250 million to reinforce and improve the transmission and distribution systems. The company said it has completed the Mauricie and downtown Montr� loops, and has begun work to strengthen power supply to the Qu�c City region. Hydro-Qu�c said it will invest a total of $843 million in projects to maintain power system reliability. In addition, more than $500 million is earmarked to ensure security of supply and meet growing demand from Qu�c customers, mainly through the construction of Sainte-Marguerite-3 generating station and the new hydroelectric development at the Grand-M� site. The company said its borrowing program for 2000 will amount to $2.8 billion. Proceeds will be used to repay debt.

Allegheny Energy Inc. has selected Sterling Commerce, a subsidiary of SBC Communications Inc., to supply e-business infrastructure that will allow subsidiaries, Allegheny Energy Supply Co. LLC and Allegheny Power, to implement an internet-based management system which the companies will use to share and coordinate customer enrollments, meter usage information, and invoicing with independent service providers, Sterling reported. The Allegheny companies are implementing the internet-based marketplace in accordance with new Pennsylvania regulatory requirements for online information exchange. In October, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission ruled that all energy companies participating in the state's electric choice program must be capable of sending data over the internet, using the Gas Industry Standards Board (GISB) electronic delivery mechanism.

Gaz de France subsidiary GDF International SA (GDF) has agreed to purchase the Netherlands assets of TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. for approximately 371 million euros. In addition, TransCanada said it expects to receive about 38 million euros in cash distributions relating to first half 2000 activity of the assets. The sale to GDF includes all of the outstanding shares of two TransCanada subsidiaries, TransCanada International (Europe) Ltd., and TransCanada International Petroleum (UK) Ltd. These companies indirectly control TransCanada's various interests in seven offshore natural gas producing licenses, and its 38.57% interest in both an offshore natural gas pipeline system and a natural gas treatment plant in the Dutch sector of the North Sea.

Public Service Co. of Colorado (PSCO) has selected Altra Energy Technologies Inc. Altra Power 4.0 transaction management system, Altra reported. The system is used by power generators, traders, schedulers, municipal utilities, and other market participants to manage and schedule energy transactions and connect to the marketplace. PSCO will be deploying the system at Public Service Colorado, Northern States Power Co., Southwest Public Service, and Upper Peninsula Power. PSCO said it will be used in increase trading with the California Independent System Operator.

Global Thermoelectric Inc., Calgary, reported it has closed its previously announced special warrants financing, including the associated over-allotment option. As a result of an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters led by Sprott Securities Inc., including Goepel McDermid Inc. and TD Securities Inc., Global sold on a "bought deal" basis, 2.9 million special warrants, including an over-allotment option for 378,861 special warrants, at a price of $34.50 for total gross proceeds of $100 million (Can.) Each special warrant is convertible, for no additional consideration, into one common share of the company. Global intends to use the proceeds to accelerate its research into solid oxide fuel cell technology, including a more rapid deployment of a broad spectrum of prototypes.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) has approved CP&L Energy Inc.'s pending acquisition of Florida Progress Corp. As part of the approval order, CP&L will provide $29.5 million in rate reductions for its North Carolina customers. The reductions include rate cuts totaling $19.5 million over the time period 2002-2005 and a one-time reduction of $10 million in fuel costs to settle the 2000 fuel case. In addition, the NCUC included a series of conditions designed to protect North Carolina customers from any adverse effects of this proposed combination.

The Czech Ministry of National Defense has taken delivery of a portable alkaline fuel cell generator from Astris SRO, the Czech affiliate of Astris Energi Inc., Mississiauga, Ont., culminating a 3-year program to develop and evaluate portable, fuel cell-based power sources, the company reported. The generator is fueled by gaseous hydrogen and air as the oxidizer. An integral hydrogen fuel tank with a capacity of 5.1 l. compressed to 3,000 psi, provides 1.5 kw-hr of electrical output. Overall electrical system efficiency is 50% at full load, the company reported.

Dynegy Coal Trading & Transportation LLC, a subsidiary of Dynegy Inc., Houston, has installed SolArc Inc.'s Right Angle system for bulk trading, coal transportation, and power station supply operations, SolArc reported. Dynegy currently utilizes SolArc's software to manage all trading activities for Dynegy's natural gas liquids division.

Duke/Fluor Daniel (D/FD) said it will incur a financial loss on a 730 Mw power plant project at the Rouge complex in Dearborn, Mich. D/FD is providing engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, startup, and testing services for the project. D/FD is a partnership of Duke Energy Corp. and Fluor Daniel Corp. For its share of the partnership, Duke Energy said it will take about a $40 million charge against third quarter earnings.

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