Southern Energy, Singapore’s Keppel FELS form venture

Jan. 3, 2001à‚–Southern Energy Inc. said its Asia Pacific business unit has formed a 50-50 joint venture with Keppel FELS Energy Pte Ltd. to pursue power generation opportunities in Singapore.

In addition, Atlanta-based Southern Energy will sell 10% of its Philippine operations to Keppel for $164 million in cash and will acquire 50% of Keppel’s Philippine-based power barges.

The company has at least one 110 MW barge-mounted plant in the Phillipines. Keppel FELS said it has built, owns, and operates floating power plants with 180 MW of generation capacity.

“This transaction allows Southern Energy to diversify its Asian portfolio by expanding and developing its operations in Singapore,” said Rick Kuester, chief executive officer of Southern Energy Asia-Pacific.

“We not only see this as an opportunity to grow and strengthen an already solid Asian presence, but also to explore our interests in the forthcoming privatization of Singapore’s market.”

The transaction is expected to close in February 2001.

With the opportunities created by liberalization of Singapore’s energy market, Keppel FELS said it aims to become a niche player in selected markets by building extended enterprises through alliances and acquisitions.

Keppel FELS Energy Pte Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of one of the world’s largest rig builders and Singaporean oil refining, marketing, and distribution company, Keppel FELS Energy & Infrastructure Ltd. On Dec. 29, 200, despite a projected loss by its subsidiary Singapore Petroleum Co. Ltd., Keppel FELS said it expected to “maintain” its performance in the second half of the year. In the first half of 2000, the company reported a profit of $30.5 million (Sing.) before extraordinary items.

Independent power producer Southern Energy owns more than 17,600 MW of electric generating capacity worldwide, including 12,400 MW in the U.S. with more than 7,000 MW under advanced development. Southern Energy is 80% owned by Southern Co.

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