Electric Power newsbriefs, December 7

Invensys PLC ... Meterpoint Data Services Ltd. ... CheMatch.com ... YourEnergySource ... NUI Corp. ... Virginia Gas Co. ... Nicor Energy ... Tacoma Public Utilities ... Derivion Corp. ... LG&E Energy Corp. ... Powergen PLC ... Baltimore Gas & Electric ... Conoco Inc. ... Fortum Corp. ... Pipeline Engineering GmbH ... Podzemgazprom Ltd. ... Energy and Environmental Investments Inc. ... Reliant Energy Inc. ... Southern Co. ... Tennessee Valley Authority ... FriedWire Inc.

The UK's Invensys PLC, through its subsidiary IMServ, a global supplier of end-to-end metering and data management services, said it has acquired Meterpoint Data Services Ltd. from SEEBOARD PLC for $56 million. Meterpoint has sales in excess of $45 million and provides a range of metering services to utility customers in southeast England. Following IMServ's recent contract to provide meter reading services to over 1.8 million homes and businesses in northwest England, it will now be providing metering services for approximately 4 million customers in the UK.

CheMatch.com and YourEnergySource, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aquila Energy Corp., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of UtiliCorp United Inc. reported YourEnergySource has made an equity investment in CheMatch.com and the two companies have formed a strategic alliance. CheMatch.com is a business-to-business, internet market for buyers and sellers of bulk commodity chemicals, plastics, and fuel products.

NUI Corp., Bedminster, NJ, and Virginia Gas Co., Abingdon, Va., reported the Virginia State Corporation Commission has set a Jan. 16, 2001, public hearing on their joint petition for approval of their merger. The merger is expected to close during the first quarter of 2001.

Nicor Energy, a unit of Nicor Inc., reported it has been certified to sell power in Ohio by the state Public Utilities Commission. Nicor Energy will offer to sell electricity to residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout the state. Nicor Energy is backed by Dynegy, Inc, a national wholesale marketer with more than 23,000 Mw under its control.

Tacoma Public Utilities has signed an agreement with Derivion Corp., Atlanta, Ga., to provide internet billing for residential and business customers in Washington State, Derivion reported. Tacoma Public Utilities expects to reduce billing costs by eliminating postage and check-processing fees. The company plans to launch the new e-billing service during first quarter of 2001. Tacoma Public Utilities provides electric and water services to approximately 170,000 customers in the greater Tacoma area.

LG&E Energy Corp., Louisville, Ky., and the UK's Powergen PLC received approval for their merger from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. With this decision, the companies have now received all the approvals they need to complete the transaction and begin joint operations. Powergen and LG&E Energy expect to close in the next few days. The companies reported their intention to merge on Feb. 28.

Since opening its natural gas distribution system to customer choice 1 year ago, Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE), a unit of Constellation Energy Group Inc., said more than 100,000 residential gas customers are purchasing gas from alternative suppliers. Eight suppliers are currently offering competitive gas supply services to residential customers in BGE's service territory. Those suppliers include BGE HOME; Burns and McBride Energy; Econnergy Energy Inc; MXENERGY; Washington Gas Energy Services Inc; Operators Energy Services; Total Gas & Electric; and United Energy Inc.

Conoco Inc. reported it has acquired LG&E Energy Corp.'s natural gas gathering and processing business assets in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Montana. Conoco will acquire three natural gas processing plants in New Mexico and Texas, with a combined processing capacity of 86 MMcfd of gas. Also included in the acquisition are a natural gas storage facility and 1,200 miles of natural gas pipelines. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Finland's Fortum Corp.'s Danish subsidiary, Fortum Energi A/S, is negotiating on a 40% joint venture ownership of Grøn Synergi A/S with Nordøstfyns Elforsyning, which presently owns 100% of Grøn Synergi. The joint ownership will give Fortum direct access to end customers in Denmark, where Grøn Synergi has 14,000 electricity customers.

Pipeline Engineering GmbH (PLE), Essen, Germany, leader of a consortium that includes Podzemgazprom Ltd., Moscow; and Energy and Environmental Investments Inc., Ankara, will install a natural gas storage facility in Tuz, Golu, for Turkish state-owned Petroleum Pipeline Corp. (Botas). During the initial phase PLE will conduct geological, geophysical, and drilling investigations for the proposed project. Concurrently, state-owned TPAO, Ankara, will carry out seismic surveys under contract to the consortium.

Two Reliant Energy Inc. subsidiaries have filed applications with the Public Utility Commission of Texas to be certified as retail electric providers when the Texas electricity market opens to competition. On Feb.15, 2001, certain customers in Texas can begin signing up with retail electric providers to participate in the state's pilot program, which starts in June. Full retail competition, which will give most customers of Texas investor owned utilities a choice of electric service providers, is scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2002.

Southern Co. reported its offering of 25 million shares of common stock (not including the underwriters' overallotment option) was priced at $28.50/share, and is expected to provide $712.5 million of gross proceeds to the company. Net proceeds are expected to be about $689.5 million. Proceeds of the sales will be used to invest in the company's competitive wholesale generating and regulated business in the Southeast as well as to reduce debt.

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) said it selected FriedWire Inc., Boulder, Colo., to supply real-time electric transmission markets intelligence to its bulk power trading operations. TVA has licensed FriedWire's Traffic Report system, a web-based monitor of North American-wide grid conditions.

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