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PP&L Buys Montana Power Marketer

PP&L Buys Montana Power Marketer

PP&L Resources, a utility based in eastern Pennsylvania, is cementing its ties in the western U.S., buying the energy marketing operation of The Montana Power Co. to go with the 13 power generation plants it is in the process of buying from the same company.

PP&L Resources said all the key employees have agreed to join the PP&L Resources family of companies. The energy marketing and trading operation will remain in Butte, but become part of PP&L EnergyPlus, the company's unregulated marketing arm, and will sell electricity in both the wholesale and retail markets in Montana and the Northwest.

"The Montana plants are especially important," according to Roger Petersen, CEO of PP&L Montana, "because they are located in the vast Western systems Coordinating council, which includes all the western states and Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. We envision that other plants acquired or built in the western United States-such as the 600 MW plant a PP&L Resources company is developing in Kingman, AZ, - will use the Montana-based marketing and trading organization. The group also will do the trading for the 13 plants being acquired from Montana Power which generate 2,600 MW. Montana Power had said last year it would exit the power marketing business because it was too risky without the generating assets to back it up. The company will remain in natural gas trading and marketing.

PP&L Resources, based in Allentown, PA is aiming to own and operate about 20,000 MW of electric generation capacity in key U.S. markets in the next five years. Including current acquisitions and construction the company is only 8,000 MW short of its goal.

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