Electric Power news briefs, May 29, 2001

TransCanada PipeLines ... Petro-Canada ... Pike County Light and Power ... Caithness Energy ... Wisvest ... H. E. Butt Grocery Co. ... AES NewEnergy ... PEI Power Corp. ... Cayuga Energy ... Progress Energy ... Athens Generating Co. ... ENCORP ... New Millennium Power ... Public Service Electric & Gas Co. ... Electricit�e France ... Montedison ... PetroChina Co. ... Orlando Utilities Commission ... Florida Gas Transmission


Iranian Energy Minister Habibollah Bitaref said about 36,000 Mw of electric capacity will be added in the next 3 years, the OPECNA news agency reported. He said the additional capacity is in line with the country's third 5-year economic plan and will raise the country's capacity to 142 billion kw-hr by 2004, up from 117 billion kw-hr in 2000. Bitaref said Iran will link the nation's grid to neighboring countries as part of the latest economic plan.

TransCanada PipeLines Ltd., Calgary, and Petro-Canada, Calgary, will build a $135 million (Can.), 165 Mw gas-fired cogeneration power plant at MacKay River, near Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, the companies reported. The facility will be developed and owned by TransCanada and will provide electric power and steam to Petro-Canada�s MacKay River in situ oil sands project. The in situ project will produce 30,000 b/d of bitumen after start-up in late 2002. Petro-Canada said the cogen plant will reduce operating costs, the impact of fluctuating natural gas prices, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 50%, compared to other power sources.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has scheduled May 30 hearings to receive public comment on the request of Pike County Light and Power Co., Pike County, Pa., to increase the generation rates it charges customers. The company said the increase is needed to correct a severe shortfall in recovery from customers of generation service costs.

Caithness Energy LLC, New York, NY, has completed the previously reported purchase of the 520 Mw, gas-fired combined cycle Blythe power project from Wisvest, a subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corp., Milwaukee, Wis., for an undisclosed price, Wisvest reported. Wisvest and Caithness entered into the proposed transaction Nov. 14, 2000.

Texas grocery store chain H. E. Butt Grocery Co. (H-E-B), San Antonio, signed a electricity service contract with AES NewEnergy, a unit of AES Corp, Arlington, Va., AES reported. AES NewEnergy will serve H-E-B stores throughout the Reliant Energy Inc., Houston; TXU Corp., Dallas; and Central Power & Light Co., Corpus Christi; utility service areas. Terms were not disclosed.

PEI Power Corp., Austin, Tex., a subsidiary of Southern Union Co., and Cayuga Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy East Corp., Albany, NY, said the newly constructed 45 Mw peaking-power plant in Archbald, Pa., is now in service and selling electricity to the mid-Atlantic market, which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.

Progress Energy Inc., Raleigh, NC, said it completed construction on two gas-fired peaking power plants in Richmond and Rowan counties in North Carolina and put the facilities in service. The initial phase of the Richmond plant includes four combustion turbines capable of producing more than 600 Mw. The Rowan facility consists of three combustion turbines, with a total generating capability of more than 450 Mw. Subsequent phases will include the addition of three combustion turbines at the Richmond County site in June 2002, Progress said. Additional generating units are planned at the Rowan County site for 2003-2004.

The US Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, reported it granted a federal permit on an application by Athens Generating Co. LP to build a 1,080 Mw gas-fired electric generating plant in Athens, Greene County, NY. The plant will be built 2 miles from the Hudson River, but includes an intake/outfall structure in the west bank of the River with associated utility lines. About 1 acre wetlands will be lost with temporary impact to 4.14 acres wetlands and waterways, the Corps said in its assessment.

ENCORP Inc., Windsor, Colo., and New Millennium Power Inc., Roswell, NM, reported signing an agreement to jointly develop, market, and implement on site power generation projects. New Millennium Power produces on site power-generation and cogeneration systems for commercial and industrial customers.

Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (PSE&G), Newark, NJ, filed a petition with the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) requesting an increase in gas base rates of $171 million for gas delivery service. The requested increase would result in an overall gas revenue increase of 7.06% to reflect current costs, the company said. PSE&G last filed for an increase in base rates in November 1991.

Electricit�e France (EDF) confirmed it raised its stake in Italy's Montedison SPA to 20% from an initial 3.97% acquired May 4. The Montedison group is a conglomerate involved in food , insurance, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, as well and energy and engineering businesses with sales of 14 billion euros. EDF said the acquisition fit with a strategy "of diversifying its financial portfolio in Europe." The initial purchase sparked protests in Italy.

China is planning to install 5 Gw of gas-fired power generation capacity by building new power plants or retrofitting existing oil-fired power generators by 2005. The government has ordered all oil-fired power plants in the country to switch to natural gas in the next 5 years and called for any new power plants built for peak shaving purposes to be gas-fired. The projects are expected to consume 5 billion cu m/year of gas. PetroChina Co. Ltd., China's largest gas producer, plans to sell 1.6 billion cu m/year of gas to these power plants by 2003, to be expanded to 3.74 billion cu m/year by 2004, and to 5.7 billion cu m/year by 2005.

Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), Orlando, Fla., and Florida Gas Transmission Co. (FGT), Houston, a unit of Citrus Corp., entered into a long-term gas transportation agreement under which FGT will provide firm transportation services to OUC's Curtis Stanton power plant in Orange County. OUC has proposed a gas-fired 633 Mw combined cycle plant to be operational in 2003. FGT said it is completing plans for an expansion project.

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