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News Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - February 1 1998

is $600 million for the 1,543 MW of capacity.

Business Wire

Sithe Energies, Inc., a subsidiary of French utilities group Generale des Eaux, has signed a contract to purchase the non-nuclear generating assets of Boston Edison for $657 million. The plants have a book value of $500 million. Sithe will add 12 power plants generating 2,000 megawatts of electricity to its North American portfolio, doubling its current capacity. Sithe plans to add 2,800 megawatts in the next three years at Boston Edison plant sites.

EnegyOne signed a $10-million, six-year contract with Saville Systems for advanced billing services to give consumers integrated billing for electricity, natural gas, telephone and other utility data. PECO Energy/EnergyOne will use the Saville program in Pennsylvania electric pilot program.

Chester, N.J., voters approved the sale of their municipal water system to New Jersey-American Water Co. for about $825,000. New Jersey-American is the only statewide investor-owned water utility.

CMS Gas Transmission and Storage Co. added Westcoast Energy as a partner in the TriState Pipeline project. Westcoast will acquire one-third ownership, while CMS will retain the remaining two-thirds and serve as managing partner. The project will have a capacity of 300 million to 1 billion cubic feet per day depending on market response. Costs are projected at between $230 million and $560 million.

Jones Capital Corp. and Enserch Development Corp. plan to build a 60-MW cogeneration facility. The companies signed an agreement to sell all power to Hawaii Electric Light Co. Construction was scheduled to begin this year, with commercial operation in early 1999.

Westinghouse Electric Corp. will sell its power generation business unit to Siemens for $1.525 billion cash. The remaining industrial business should be divested from the media company by mid-1998. Westinghouse Electric Corp. will be renamed CBS Corp.

Enron Corp. has required OPTEC Inc., expected to strengthen the telecommunications efforts of FirstPoint Communications, an Enron telecommunications subsidiary.

Itron signed a contract with Hawaiian Electric Co., the principal subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc., for an AMR system. Beginning in early 1998, HECO will install 80,000 meters with the option to install up to 330,000 meters. The value of the 330,000 meter order is about $20 million.

The province of San Juan, Argentina, awarded the AES Corp. a concession for 230 megawatts of hydroelectric capacity. The concession consists of the rights to an existing 45-MW hydroelectric plant and the rights to construct two new hydroelectric plants. AES is expected to assume operation of the existing 45-MW plant in 1998.

Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. upgraded ratings of El Paso Electric Co.'s first mortgage bonds, collateralized pollution-control revenue bonds and preferred stock. It said the upgrades reflected the utility's solid performance since its emergence from bankruptcy in February 1996. D&P predicts a trend of further credit quality improvement.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison have completed the first offerings of stranded cost bonds. PG&E's $2.9-billion and SoCalEd's $2.4 billion offerings were highly over-subscribed by investors. San Diego Gas and Electric is expected soon to make the next offering of $700 million in stranded cost bonds.