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Industry Briefs

Industry Briefs

Shareholders of St. Joseph Light & Power Co. of Missouri approved a merger with UtiliCorp United Inc. of Kansas City. Of the shares voted, 93.6% were in favor of the merger, while only 2.1% voted against. The approval vote represents 68.5% of all St. Joseph shares outstanding. St. Joseph Light & Power share owners will receive $23 of UtiliCorp common stock for each share of their common stock at the deal's completion. St. Joseph's stock closed at $20.6875 and UtiliCorp's stock closed at $24.8125 Tuesday. The $190.6 million deal to create Missouri's fourth largest gas distributor and third largest electricity distributor was announced in early March (See Daily GPI March 8, 1999). The companies now seek regulatory approval, including the completion of a market power study required by both the Missouri Public Service Commission and FERC, which should be finished in about 60 days. Steinbecker said. Light & Power serves 66,000 electric and gas customers in all or part of 10 northwest Missouri counties. UtiliCorp has more than three million customers in eight states and in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Altra Energy Technologies said swap trading on Altrade, its electronic system hit a single-day record of 10 Bcf earlier this month. "We're now getting ;major players to transact swap trades on our system," said David Hanson, Altra's vice president of natural gas marketing. "We've created a liquid foundation and now comes the growth phase. Although the volume is still relatively small, it represents a major breakthrough in acceptance of electronic brokering by industry financial traders."

Energy Management Inc. said this week it wants to sell its independent power production business, including five new power plants with 840 MW of generation capacity in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island and the 155 MMcf/d of gas under contract to supply the plants. The North Dartmouth, MA-based energy firm hopes to take advantage of recent high prices paid for other electricity generation plants, and CEO Jim Gordon said it already has received some offers. The power plants have a book value of about $400 million. EMI owns a 50% stake in the 68 MW Dartmouth, MA, and 68 MW Pawtucket, RI, plants and the other 50% owner, GE Capital also intends to sell its stake in those facilities. EMI has full ownership in the 170 MW Dighton, MA, facility. EMI is developing new 265 MW plants in Tiverton, RI, and Rumford, ME, with Calpine Corp.

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