Mirant and CLECO to develop power plants in the South

Atlanta's Mirant Corp. and a unit of CLECO Corp., Pineville, La, said they would jointly develop and own additional power plants in the South building on the success of their first joint project in Perryville, La. The development agreement involves up to 2,000 Mw of new generation capacity across the South. New units to be jointly owned and operated will come on line before 2006.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, July 30 -- Atlanta's Mirant Corp. and a unit of CLECO Corp., Pineville, La, said they would jointly develop and own additional power plants in the South building on the success of their first joint project in Perryville, La.

The development agreement involves up to 2,000 Mw of new generation capacity across the South. New units to be jointly owned and operated will come on line before 2006.

Both of the companies are independent power producers, marketers, and affiliates of investor-owned utilities located in the South. Mirant was spun off of Southern Co. and Cleco Midstream Resources LLC is a unit of CLECO Corp., a holding company that owns a utility serving 250,000 customers in Louisiana.

The proposed power plant projects run the gamut from gas-fired peaking and base load units to new coal-fired generation. CLECO said it brings development sites to the table and Mirant the combustion turbines and some sites.

Turbines are in short supply with 2-3 year waiting lists. Industry sources said turbine poor companies have little choice but to join with a company higher on the list in order to get access to turbines. Likewise, power projects are difficult to site, and many of the best locations with access to electricity transmission lines and natural gas pipelines may pose difficulties obtaining local permits.

"The agreement doesn't mean that Mirant or CLECO can't go off on their own in the South or in other regions with a different partner," said Mirant spokesman David Payne. Mirant owns or controls more than 20,000 Mw of electric generating capacity.

The Perryville plant is a natural gas-fired peaking unit of 150 Mw. At the same site another 550 Mw combined cycle unit is under construction and scheduled for commercial operation by summer 2002.

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