Iberdrola

A marriage made in heaven

As deregulation in the power and natural gas markets takes hold, convergence of these two industries is becoming a reality. A perceived advantage for players embracing this trend is reduced risk, but what does it mean for competition and the consumer?

The calm before the storm

Spain`s $15 billion electricity market is Europe`s fifth largest, and in 1998 grew at the stunning rate of 6.5 per cent. Its electricity industry reforms meet the typical requirements of competitive players, foreign investors are active, and a big dash for gas is gathering pace. But controversy over some policies continues, and the reforms to date may not be enough to give the country a truly competitive market.

Great expectations

February 19, 1999 was a landmark stage in the EU electricity markets with the opening of 26.48 per cent of the market to competition. Over 20 per cent of the European market is expected to switch supplier by 2005 as competition progresses. Datamonitor examines how the market will develop, and what consumers are expecting from the changes.

Iberdrola makes US purchase:

Spanish electricity group Iberdrola has made its first significant purchase in the USA by paying $50m for the California-based utility Energy Works. The move reflects Iberdrola`s belief that liberalization of Spain`s electricity sector will result in a loss of market share in its home market.

EC seeks to overrule Spanish power plan

Spain`s plans to compensate its privatized utilities for stranded costs in the electricity sector could be halted by European competition authorities.

Spain

Endesa, Iberdrola, Union Fenosa and Hidroelectrica del Cantabrico met with representatives of Nymex and Nord Pool recently to discuss the development of a Spanish power futures exchange in Madrid. Such an exchange is unlikely to be operational next year, according to the electricity association, as the power pool only recently started trading.

Chile orders GTCC plants

Electroandina SA of Chile has awarded the turnkey contract for the construction of two gas fired combined cycle power plants to ABB. The 400 MW plants will be located in the cities of Tocopilla and Coloso in northern Chile.

US-Venezuelan consortium buys Colombian stake

The Colombian government has sold stakes in the two distribution companies of Corelca, the state-owned power company, to a US-Venezuelan consortium. Forty-eight per cent of Colombia`s electricity distribution assets now rest in private hands.

Spanish nuclear plant sets record

CN Cofrentes station in Spain recently set a new world record for the shortest refueling outage for a modern General Electric (GE)-supplied boiling water reactor (BWR). The refueling was accomplished in 19 days and 15 hours, according to GE Nuclear Energy. The record was almost half the time plant owner Iberdrola normally took for refueling and maintenance outages.

Business briefs and new business

Edison Electric Institute has announced the first winners of the international "Common Goals" awards program. Korea Electric Power Corp., Alberta Power Ltd. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. were honored for their support and involvement with their customers and communities.

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