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News Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - February 15 1999

the PSC was barred from considering whether the project met a public need or whether the design and location served the public interest. No. 9335-CE-101, Dec. 18, 1998 (Wisc.P.S.C.).

West Marinette. A $33.4 million, 83-MW plant, planned by Madison Gas & Electric Co. at the site of the company's West Marinette Generating Station. The cost rose from $31.4 million after General Electric, the turbine manufacturer, had moved up the construction time slot, adding to MG&E's carrying costs until commercial operation. No. 3270-CE- 121, Dec. 22, 1998 (Wisc. P.S.C.).

Business Wire

CMS Energy Corp. acquired Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co., Truckline Gas Co. and the storage related to those systems, as well as the Trunkline LNG Co. terminal, from Duke Energy for $2.2 billion involving a cash payment of $1.9 billion and existing Panhandle debt of $300 million. The assets include: 11,500 miles of mainline gas pipe extending from the Texas Gulf Coast to Michigan and from the Kansas/Oklahoma mid-continent to Michigan, for a combined capacity of 3.5 billion cubic feet per day. They also include 340 miles of pipeline offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, 70 billion cubic feet of underground gas storage facilities, an LNG port, unloading and regasification facilities with a production capacity of 700 million cubic feet per day and liquid storage of 1.8 million barrels.

Ohio-based Cinergy Corp. selected LodeMap RTP as the alternative to its previous system. LODESTAR Corp.'s Lodemap Real-Time Pricing Solution enables energy users to reduce their energy costs by scheduling loads based on "real time" consumption and pricing.

Keyspan Energy and Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. reached an agreement whereby Keyspan Energy Development Corp. will acquire a 50 percent interest in Gulf's midstream business in western Canada and will form a partnership with Gulf called Gulf Midstream Services Partnership. Keyspan will pay Gulf approximately $189 million. In addition, Keyspan will provide a three-year, $65 million loan on commercial terms that at Gulf's option can be repaid or exchanged by Keyspan for an additional 19.7 percent interest in GMS.

Aquila Energy signed an eight-year contract to supply natural gas for a 265 MW independent power project being constructed in Maine. Under terms of the contract, Aquila will supply the power plant with up to 46 million cubic feet of natural gas per day for eight years. The estimated value of the contract is $500 million. The plant is expected to begin operation sometime in 2000.

Cost Responsibility. Concerned that callers may use the Internet as a substitute for traditional telephone service, bypassing the public switched network, regulators in Nebraska will examine Internet service providers (ISPs) and the extent to which they are liable for telephone access charges, funding for universal service and other system costs. But the commission acknowledges that such charges and funding requirements, if imposed on ISPs, could "suffocate" development of Internet protocol telephony. Application No. C-1825/PI-21, Sept. 28, 1998 (Neb.P.S.C.).

Revenue Settlements. Are calls placed to ISPs "local" or interstate in nature? By completing local calls, competitive local exchange carriers are entitled to reciprocal compensation from incumbent LECs. Three states - Massachusetts, Ohio