Electric Power news briefs, January 4

Comision Federal de Electricidad ... Alstom ... DPL Inc. ... Huaneng Power International Inc. ... Xcel Energy Inc. ... American Electric Power Co. Inc. ... Electricite de France ... Gaz de France ... Dynegy Inc. ... Aluminum Bahrain BSC ... Taylor-DeJough Inc. ... Ohio Consumers' Counsel ... Wattage Monitor ... FirstEnergy Corp.

Jan 4th, 2001


Mexico's Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) has awarded France's Alstom a 120 million euro order to supply four 25 Mw geothermal power plants to the Mexican utility, Alstom reported. The plants will be located in Los Azufres, Michoacan state, and will convert energy from underground water, heated by magma to very high temperatures, into electricity. Terms were not disclosed.

Standard & Poor's placed its ratings on DPL Inc. and its affiliate, Dayton Power & Light Co., on CreditWatch with developing implications. The rating action follows the announcement the company is working with investment bankers to explore strategic options, including the possible sale of all or part of the company. The CreditWatch listing with developing implications indicates that the ratings on DPL and its affiliate could be raised, lowered, or affirmed.

China's Huaneng Power International Inc. reported based on preliminary statistics the company's total power generation for the year 2000 was 44.16 billion kw-hr, 11.3% more than planned generation for the year and an increase of 16.7% over total 1999 generation. The company attributed the increase to higher installed capacity, rising demand in areas where its plants are located, and a hot dry spring and summer.

Xcel Energy Inc. said it filed an application with the US Securities and Exchange Commission seeking approval of a stockholder protection rights agreement. Under the agreement's principal provision, if any person or group acquires 15% or more of Xcel's outstanding common stock, all other stockholders of Xcel would be entitled to buy, for the exercise price of $95/right, common stock of Xcel having a market value equal to twice the exercise price, thereby substantially diluting the acquiring person's or group's investment. Approval for the agreement was not sought in response to any specific effort to acquire control of Xcel Energy, the company said.

American Electric Power Co. Inc.(AEP) said the Cook nuclear plant Unit 1 reached 100% power at 9:40 a.m. Jan. 3. The power ascension procedure included hold points at 30, 50, 80, and 90% power for system testing. Enough fuel is available for the 1,020 Mw Unit 1 to operate for 18 months at full power, the company reported. Unit 1 returned to service for AEP when connected to the AEP transmission grid Dec. 21.

Electricite de France (EDF) and Gaz de France reported they have decided to adopt the euro 1 year earlier than planned, with the aim of helping users to establish new references and to become familiar with the new unit of currency.To this end, EDF and Gaz de France have decided from January 2001, all electricity and gas bills will be calculated in euros. Up to Dec. 31, all customers can choose to pay their bills in either francs or euros. Cash payments in euros will not be possible until January 2002. Finally, for EDF and Gaz de France suppliers, invoices may be issued in francs or in euros until the end of 2001 and payments will be made in the currency stated on the invoice.

Dynegy Inc., Houston, said Thursday the company will significantly exceed previously forecasted fourth quarter recurring earnings of 22-25�/share. In addition, the company also reaffirmed it is comfortable with the upper range of current estimates for 2001, which will represent an increase over 2000 of about 30%.

Aluminum Bahrain BSC has awarded Taylor-DeJough Inc. a contract to serve as financial advisory on a $1.7 billion expansion of its Manama smelter, including a 400 Mw power project. Working with its associate, Islamic Finance Consultants, Taylor-DeJough said it will develop options for financing the project, including project financing from commercial banks, export credit agencies, and the capital markets.

The Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC) said it signed an agreement with Wattage Monitor, Reno, Nev., to provide electric supplier information, as well as calculate and compare prices, through its web site. The site is set to be launched in early February. Wattage Monitor, which provides competitive electric supplier information to consumers, will host the database on the OCC web site that contains a list of electric suppliers and their rates, as well as a price-to-compare calculator. With the Ohio electric marketplace open to competition, consumers gained the right to choose their electric supplier on Jan. 1, 2001.

FirstEnergy Corp. said the 1,293 Mw Perry nuclear power plant operated 354 out of 365 days in 2000, yielding a 96.8% availability factor. The plant's highest annual availability factor�99%�was achieved in 1998. In addition, Perry generated more than 10 million mw-hr last year, translating into a 95% capacity factor. The plant posted a record-setting 98.6% capacity factor in 1998.

More in New Plants