Electric power news briefs, September 7

NCC, Stockholm, has received orders for two hydropower plants with 40 Mw of generating capacity in Costa Rica, as well as a dam facility and water supply project in the Dominican Republic, for a total value of about $139 million.The Brasil II power project will located on the Rio Virilla River, San Jose, Costa Rica. The second power plant, El Encanto, will be located about 100 km northwest of San Jose on the Aranjuez River. Both hydropower plants will be constructed by a consortium, Consortio Noruego, which in addition to NCC includes General Electric Energy Norway and Alstom Norway. Statkraft Gr

WPD Ltd. (WPDL), Allentown, Penn., said it has received acceptances from shareholders of Hyder PLC that-when combined with WPDL’s existing ownership interests in Hyder-equal to about 62.6% of the issued ordinary share capital of Hyder. To proceed with its planned acquisition of Hyder, WPDL needed to exceed 50% in acceptances and ownership interests by Wednesday. WPDL is jointly owned by PPL Corp. and the Southern Co. One of Hyder’s principal asssets is South Wales Electricity PLC, an electric distribution company with service territory adjacent to Western Power Distribution, also jointly owned by PPL and Southern. The acquisition is expected to close in September and immediately add about 2

Epcor, Edmonton, Alta., and UtiliCorp Networks Canada, a unit of UtiliCorp United Inc., have reached an agreement under which Epcor will purchase UtiliCorp’s Alberta retail electricity business for $74 million, the companies reported. Under the agreement, UtiliCorp will appoint Epcor to retail electricity to residential and small commercial customers in UtiliCorp’s distribution service area in central and southern Alberta. The deal involves about 350,000 electricity customers. The agreement with Epcor is subject to approval by the Alberta Energy & Utilities Board, which the companies expect to receive in October.

CIT Project Finance, a unit of the CIT Group, and Calpine Corp., reported completion of a $400 million leveraged lease financing transaction to provide the term financing for Phase I and Phase II of the 750 Mw Pasadena, Tex., cogeneration project. The steam sales and 90 Mw of power are sold under a long-term contract and the remaining power is sold on a merchant basis into the Texas market. Phase II recently began commercial operation. The project senior debt was funded through coinvestment with the Newcourt Capital Project Finance Fund, a $500 million fund, involving major US insurance companies, including units of John Hancock Financial Services Inc., Cigna Corp., and New York Life Insurance Co.

Independent power producer Beijing Datang Power Generation Co.Ltd., has awarded Shanghai Westinghouse Control Systems Co.Ltd., the contract for the control system for the 3,600 Mw coal-fired Tuoketuo power plant to be built near Hohht City, Inner Mongolia, China, the company reported. The initial contract is for the control system for two units of 600 Mw each to be built over the next 2 years, with four more generating units of 600 Mw each being planned for construction in about 4 years.

Koch Energy Trading Inc. says it has built an internet-based trading site, KochEnergy.com, to allow customers to access their trade information from Koch. The site includes hedge analysis developed by Koch. In addition, clients will have the ability to investigate the effectiveness of different hedging strategies and will have access to selected over-the-counter prices, weather forecasts, news feeds, and charting tools, it said. Koch Energy Trading partnered with Delinea Inc. to create KochEnergy.com.

To resolve US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) questions about their pending merger DTE Energy Co. and MCN Energy Group Inc. said MCN has agreed to transfer a property interest to a unit of Unicom Corp. allowing for the utilization of up to 20 bcf of natural gas transportation capacity annually on MichCon’s system in the relevant distribution area. Unicom currently markets natural gas to customers in the Detroit area. The FTC staff is reviewing the impact of the proposal, the companies said. The proposals is subject to regulatory approvals and consummation of the merger.

Jenkins Gas & Oil Co. Inc., Pollocksville, NC, has agreed to purchase the propane business of CP&L Energy Inc. unit North Carolina Natural Gas (NCNG). Terms of the transaction, which will be completed this fall, were not disclosed. Jenkins Gas and Oil, whose territory generally overlaps NCNG’s propane territory, is a privately held 47-year-old company roughly three times the size of NCNG’s propane operation. The company serves more than 35,000 customers in 20 eastern North Carolina counties.

American Superconductor Corp. said it has completed all the high temperature superconducting (HTS) wire needed to manufacture the world’s first HTS power cable to be installed in a utility grid. Just over 18 miles of HTS wire were manufactured and shipped to Pirelli Cables and Systems. Pirelli expects to complete manufacture of the HTS cable by the end of 2000. The cable will then be shipped to DTE Energy Co. subsidiary Detroit Edison and installed in the Frisbie station in downtown Detroit. This project is partially funded by the US Department of Energy’s Superconductivity Partnership Initiative (SPI). Using this wire, the three HTS cables will carry 100 Mw of power, the same amount of power carried by the nine copper cables they will replace. This will leave six ducts open, which can be used for additional HTS cables to increase the power throughput of the existing right-of-way, or for installation of other assets, such as high-speed internet or telecommunications cables.

Edison Sault Electric Co. said it is securing new submarine cables to be placed in the water as soon as possible to serve Mackinac Island after widespread outages left much of the island without power July 22-23. Although portable generators began providing at least some of Edison Sault’s 1,300 affected customers with temporary power by week’s end, the lack of consistent electric service necessitated maintaining the curfew through July 29, 2000, the Michigan Public Service Commission said in an investigative report. Edison Sault said diesel generators remain on the island as backup generation and will remain there until the company is satisfied the system is working reliably. Current plans call for two new 345 Mw submarine cable circuits to be installed by the end of 2001.

PG&E Corp. unit National Energy Group said it agreed to acquire from a Duke Energy Corp. unit the 500 Mw natural gas-fired merchant generation Attala energy facility in central Mississippi for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is expected to be completed at the end of September following regulatory approval. Construction of the facility began in March and commercial operation is scheduled for the summer of 2001. The plant will deliver into the Entergy wholesale market.

Sempra Energy Trading, the wholesale energy trading subsidiary of Sempra Energy, said it has begun operating in Spain under the name Sempra Energy Europe Espana. The company said it established operations in Madrid to take advantage of the wholesale market opportunities in the newly deregulated Spanish electricity market. Since the advent of deregulation, Spain’s energy market has allowed about 68,000 of the country’s large, industrial customers to purchase power on the open market. Rafael Abati, who has been appointed general manager of Sempra Energy Europe Espana, will manage the office.

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