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Briefs -- Duke Energy Carolinas, Wyoming Wind Power, Pemex

Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) is in the early stages of planning to convert two coal-fired power generation units at its 1,387 MW Rogers Energy Complex (formerly the Cliffside Steam Station) in North Carolina’s Cleveland and Rutherford counties to co-fired generation -- coal and natural gas -- the company told NGI. The Charlotte, NC-based utility expects to have the modifications completed in 2019, but it hasn't released cost estimates or other details. DEC's plans appear to hinge on Public Service Company of North Carolina (PSNC) receiving approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) for a proposal to expand its natural gas pipeline system to increase transportation capacity to the Rogers facility. PSNC is also being tightlipped about its plans. The agreement with DEC "is confidential in nature and a proprietary trade secret," PSNC said in an NCUC filing [No. G-5, Sub 569].

With a decline in revenues from the state's fossil fuel industry, Wyoming state lawmakers are targeting wind power to boost the state coffers. Facing a revenue gap, lawmakers are considering boosting the state's one-of-a-kind wind tax, which took effect four years ago and has reportedly generated $15 million. Studies have indicated that Wyoming could generate up to half of the nation's wind power. Gov. Matt Mead has said he is not pushing for a tax increase on wind.

The Mexican government said this week it will provide US$10.2 billion of support for Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) pension liabilities as well as bolster Pemex with a US$2.6 billion capital infusion. Plans for the capital infusion were announced last April (see Daily GPI, April 13). "This liquidity support does not represent an additional increase in the debt of the federal government," the government said in the announcement, as translated. The amount of the government commitment to pay Pemex pensions is intended to be equivalent to the reduction in Pemex labor liabilities resulting from Mexico's energy sector reforms. It will improve the competitiveness of Pemex as it faces competition from outside companies entering Mexico's oil/natural gas industry, the government said.

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