NRG Acquires Duke's Audrain Power Plant
NRG Energy reported late last week that it has entered into an
agreement with Duke Energy North America LLC (DENA) to acquire a
natural gas-fired 720 MW winter-rated/640 MW summer-rated power
facility that is currently under construction in Audrain County,
Construction of the Audrain Generating Station began in May
2000. Located on a Greenfield site about 90 miles northwest of St.
Louis, the project - which consists of eight turbines - is expected
to begin commercial operation by June 2001.
"This acquisition complements NRG's strategy of developing a
significant portfolio of generation assets located near major
metropolitan areas experiencing substantial load growth," said
David H. Peterson, NRG's CEO. "It also serves to strengthen our
presence in the North Central region of the United States and upon
commercial operation will be immediately earnings accretive."
Although terms of the deal were not discussed, NRG said it
expects the project to contribute three to five cents to earnings
on an annual basis and to be a contributor to the company's 25%
earnings growth objective. Both companies said they expect the deal
to close by the end of the first quarter, pending necessary
"The sale of the Audrain facility is consistent with Duke
Energy's portfolio management approach to business," said Jim
Donnell, DENA's CEO. "Our ability to actively manage our portfolio
of assets and trading positions, enhances the efficiency in which
we recycle capital across Duke Energy to support our ongoing
development and business endeavors. We're on target to deliver
upward of 50 generation facilities, totaling more than 26,000
megawatts by summer 2004, and remain focused on our commercial
objective of building regional energy businesses in the high-demand
regions of North America."
The plant is one of six merchant facilities DENA will bring on
line by this summer. The other facilities are located in Arizona,
Illinois, Oklahoma and two in Mississippi that together total
approximately 3,400 megawatts.
"This facility has excellent access to high voltage transmission
systems and major gas pipelines in the Chicago-St. Louis-New
Orleans corridor which will give us greater flexibility in trading
around our current assets and those in development," said Craig
Mataczynski, CEO of NRG North America. "The project is dual-fuel
capable, meaning it may use both natural gas and oil, which gives
us the ability to switch fuels during times of volatile fuel
The Audrain facility was designed and is being built by
Duke/Fluor Daniel (D/FD).
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