PG&E Forms Venture Capital Firm, Adds Power
With between $50 million and $100 million in spending money in
its first year of operation, Pacific Venture Capital LLC, a company
launched last week by PG&E Corp., plans to build and manage a
portfolio of capital investments in growing energy and
"Pacific Venture Capital's mission is to generate new value for
PG&E Corporation shareholders by investing in fast-growing,
innovative energy and telecommunications companies, and to gain
insight into new technologies and business models to impact our
company and business strategy," said PG&E Corp. Chairman Robert
D. Glynn, Jr.
Bryant J. Tong will lead the new subsidiary as CEO. Tong brings
more than 23 years of experience, including leading successful
corporations through start-up and high-growth cycles. He will
report to Peter A. Darbee, PG&E Corp. CFO. "Bryant's talents
and executive experience in the venture capital field, combined
with Peter's Wall Street experience at Goldman Sachs and Salomon
Brothers, provide a wealth of financial expertise to drive Pacific
Venture Capital," said Glynn.
Meanwhile, another PG&E Corp. operating division, National
Energy Group, moved forward last week with plans to build a 550 MW
power plant in eastern Oregon. The facility, which is projected to
begin operation in 2003, will be PG&E's first merchant power
plant in the Pacific Northwest. It will be located next to the
existing 474 MW Hermiston Generating Plant, which is co-owned by
PG&E and PacifiCorp and will be connected to PG&E's gas
pipeline system, Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN), providing
incremental demand of 84,000 Dth/d on that system.
"Through our natural gas transmission system, which crosses
Idaho, Washington and Oregon, and the Hermiston Generating Plant,
we already have a significant presence in the region's wholesale
energy market. We plan to grow that presence as part of our overall
strategy to develop generation and gas transmission infrastructure
in major western markets," said Thomas B. King, COO of the National
Energy Group West Region.
"Development of a merchant power plant adjacent to our pipeline
system in Oregon is an excellent example of our strategy to
optimize our strong asset position in the Pacific Northwest," King
said. "With the passage of deregulation legislation in Oregon last
year, we believe the market there is ready for development of
competitive electric generation."
PG&E National Energy Group expects to apply to the Oregon
Energy Facility Siting Council this fall for a license to build the
plant. The company expects to begin construction by late 2001 and
have the plant ready for commercial operation in 2003.
In addition to the Umatilla project, PG&E began construction
this summer on the 1,000 MW La Paloma Generating Plant near
Bakersfield, CA. The company has another 1,500 MW under development
in two projects located near San Diego and Phoenix for a total of
3,000 MW currently under development in the West. The company also
recently announced plans for a 212-mile natural gas pipeline from
Arizona to Baja California, Mexico. The pipeline is to be built in
partnership with Sempra Energy International and Proxima Gas S.A.