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News Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - February 15 2000

with the related Market Link project. Dissenting Commissioner Curt Hébert called the order "possibly a crushing blow to pipeline construction." Docket Nos. CP97-315-000 et al., CP97-319-000 et al., and CP98-540-000, 89 FERC 89,¶61,283, Dec. 15, 1999.

Business Wire

The New York Mercantile Exchange board of directors has unanimously approved a demutualization plan which will convert the exchange from a not-for-profit membership structure to a for-profit organization. The plan, which calls for the equity in the exchange to remain with the seat-owners of its NYMEX Division, will be submitted to the members of the NYMEX Division of the Exchange for approval at a special meeting, most likely during the second or third quarter of 2000.

The Ugandan government and AEP Corp. have concluded an implementation agreement and a power purchase agreement for the construction of a 250-MW hydroelectric power plant at Bujagali on the Nile River and the associated transmission lines at an estimated cost of $500 million, making it the largest private-sector infrastructure investment in Eastern Africa to date. The plant, which is expected to start commercial operation at the beginning of 2004, is anticipated to be a big boost to the economy of Uganda, which is experiencing acute power shortages.

Ford Motor Co., in partnership with Baker Electromotive of Rome, N.Y., has received an initial order from the U.S. Postal Service for 500 electric mail delivery vehicles, the single largest electric vehicle order in U.S. history. The USPS has the option of purchasing a total of 6,000 vehicles, whose design is based on the Ford Ranger EV.

The Maine PUC has granted CMP Natural Gas authorization to provide service to the entire municipality of Gorham and a new 540-MW natural gas-fired power plant being constructed by Calpine Corp. in nearby Westbrook. Last July Calpine signed a long-term contract with CMP to provide natural gas delivery service to the plant. Construction of the $200 million electric generating facility is well underway and will require gas service by June 1.

CMS Energy Corp.'s energy marketing business, CMS Marketing, Services and Trading, has completed an approximately $139 million natural gas sale to the Ohio Schools Council, representing a gas supply program for 111 school districts in northern Ohio for a period of 12 years. Under the agreement, OSC has pre-paid CMS-MST for 44 billion cubic feet of natural gas, delivered from Nov. 1, 1999 through Oct. 31, 2011. The OSC used municipal bonds to fund the deal.

UniSource Energy Corp. has announced it will invest an additional $14 million in its rapidly expanding solar technology subsidiary, increasing its ownership in Global Solar Energy LLC to 67 percent. ITN Energy Systems Inc. owns the remaining 33 percent. The new investment will be used primarily to expand the production and marketing of Global Solar's photovoltaic material. Global Solar uses a proprietary process to manufacture cost-effective thin-film copper indium diselenide photovoltaic modules that generate electricity when exposed to sunlight.

Transmission & ISOs

Inter-ISO Cooperation. The Ontario Independent Electricity Market Operator on Dec. 16 signed a memorandum of understanding with the New York Independent System Operator, ISO New