Electric Power news briefs, October 24

PG&E Corp. ... Energy East Corp. ... Nicor Inc. ... American Electric Power Co. Inc. ... Duke Energy Gas Transmission ... TelePlace Inc. ... TXU Energy Services ... Matsushita Electric Works ... Ballard Power Systems Inc. ... Active Power Inc. ... PowerTrust.com ... KeySpan Corp. ... North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency ... Pennsylvania Electric Association ... Pennsylvania Gas Association ... Capstone Turbine Corp.


PG&E Corp. reported net income of $248 million or 68�/share on revenue of $7.5 billion for the third quarter ended Sept. 30,2000, up from net income of $185 million or 50�/share on revenue of $6.2 billion in the year earlier period. PG&E said the 1999 figures reflect an 11�/share upward adjustment in utility earnings to reflect the retroactive effect of the delayed 1999 rate case, and a 5�/share upward adjustment in National Energy Group earnings for the 1999 third quarter offsetting losses recorded in the energy services and Texas natural gas operations, which are no longer part of continuing operations. Adjusted for these items, third quarter 1999 results would have been $0.66/share.

Energy East Corp. reported net income of $33.3 million or 30�/share on operating revenue of $651.2 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, compared to net income of $46.9 million or 21�/share on revenue of $571 million in the comparable 1999 quarter. Results for the 3 months and 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2000, include CMP Group, Inc., CTG Resources, Inc. and Berkshire Energy Resources effective Sept. 1, 2000.

Nicor Inc. reported net income of $27 million or 59�/share, excluding a charge related to the company's mercury inspection and repair program, on revenue of $301 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, compared with net income of $19.8 million or 42�/share on revenue of $227.3 million in the year earlier period. An unusual charge of $148 million ($89.7 million aftertax) was recorded as operating expense in the third quarter 2000 related to a mercury inspection and repair program in the company's gas distribution business. Chairman Thomas Fisher said the company is forecasting earnings per share in the $2.85-$2.95 range for 2000, excluding the mercury cleanup charges, and earning per share of $3-$3.15 in 2001, assuming normal weather and excluding credits or charges from the mercury cleanup.

American Electric Power Co. Inc. reported earnings before extraordinary and special items of $1.29/share, or $416 million on revenue of $3.9 billion, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, compared to $1.18/share, or $378 million on revenue of $3.5 billion, in the same quarter last year. After extraordinary and special items, earnings were $1.11, or $359 million, for the quarter as compared to $1.23, or $395 million, in 1999. Extraordinary losses were recorded in both periods as a result of the introduction of customer choice in the Ohio and Texas jurisdictions in 2000 and 1999, respectively, the company said.

Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT), a unit of Duke Energy Corp., said it will expand its East Tennessee Natural Gas system by building a $215 million, 95-mile extension from Virginia into North Carolina. The 24-in. pipeline will be coupled with East Tennessee system mainline enhancements to initially transport 200 MMcfd of natural gas beginning in fall 2002. The pipeline extension is expandable to 600 MMcfd. The Patriot Extension is intended to help meet the annual 4% natural gas growth in the region being driven by strong demand for natural gas-fired electric generation. DEGT said it will conduct shipper meetings over the next 2 months and conclude with a binding open season for capacity in the Patriot extension, leading to a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by the end of first quarter 2001.

TelePlace Inc. said it has signed a 25-year, $250 million contract for TXU Energy Services, a unit of TXU Corp., to supply energy management and investment assistance, TXU said. Under the agreement, TXU Energy Services will provide TelePlace a premium power solution, which will include assisting with investment capital, operating and maintaining energy equipment, evaluating power needs and requirements, procuring power, and performing risk management analyses.

Japan's Matsushita Electric Works has entered into an agreement with Ballard Power Systems Inc. to supply Ballard fuel cells, Ballard reported. Matsushita Electric Works will initially use the fuel cells for ongoing field testing and demonstration of its 250 w portable compact power generators for the Japanese market. Terms were not disclosed.

Active Power Inc., Austin, said it is expanding manufacturing facilities to meet anticipated demand for its flywheel-based power-quality products. Increased demand for both the Caterpillar-branded CAT UPS and the CleanSource DC is driving the need for expansion. The company said it has signed a lease for an additional 127,000 sq ft of manufacturing space and plans to move into this facility in the spring of 2001, with production beginning as early as the third quarter of 2001. This expansion, when fully scaled up, will result in a 10-fold increase in capacity over current levels, the company said.

In anticipation of a tight winter US energy market, PowerTrust.com, an internet-based energy company, said it has lined up four new energy suppliers to offer 1-2 year, fixed heating oil and propane rates. PowerTrust.com's four new energy suppliers include Alliance Fuel, providing heating oil in Maryland; Valley National Gases, supplying propane in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia; ClickableOil, providing heating oil in New York and New Jersey; and Green Petroleum, which will provide heating oil in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland. PowerTrust.com will provide the marketing, billing, and customer service functions in its new partnership arrangements, while the four suppliers will provide the delivery component.

KeySpan Corp. said its net earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, were $13.2 million on revenue of $947.3 million, or 10�/share, compared to net earnings of $328,000 or break-even results on revenue of $538.5 million for last year's third quarter. Company executive said full 2000 results could be 40% higher than 1999, and the company is hopeful it can exceed First Call consensus earnings forecast of $2.41/share in 2001.

North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) said it has issued a request for proposal for 900-950 Mw of power to meet its partial requirement needs beginning in January 2004. NCEMPA's commitment to purchase its partial requirements service from Carolina Power & Light Co. (CP&L) expires Dec. 31, 2003. NCEMPA is the full requirements power supplier to 32 municipal utility members located in eastern North Carolina.

The Pennsylvania Electric Association and the Pennsylvania Gas Association reported an agreement to merge the two associations into the newly created Energy Association of Pennsylvania. The governing bodies of both associations approved the merger and named Richard Bunn president and CEO, while the association's search committee conducts a search for a new leader. The merger was spurred by a growing trend toward convergence of once separate industries, the groups said.

Capstone Turbine Corp. reported a net loss of $8.1 million or 11�/share on revenue of $6.2 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, compared with a net loss of $11.4 million or $4.85/share on revenue of $759,000 in the comparable prior year quarter. The company said the decrease in the net loss per share was primarily attributable to revenue growth resulting from an increase in the number of units shipped�211 in the third quarter 2000 vs. 22 units in the same period of 1999.

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