PPL Eye's New Trading Facilities, Touts Marketing Growth

PPL EnergyPlus has outgrown its home and is searching for a new one to house its rapidly growing energy marketing and trading operations. The company said it is evaluating sites around the Lehigh Valley.

"PPL EnergyPlus, one of our fastest growing subsidiaries, has outgrown its current home in downtown Allentown and there appears to be no feasible opportunity to build this facility in a timely way adjacent to our existing headquarters in downtown Allentown," said PPL Corp. CEO William F. Hecht.

The new building will have to house an expanded trading floor for the company's eastern North America trading operations. The company's West Coast trading and marketing operation are headquartered in Butte, MT.

Marketing and trading played a key role in PPL's record earnings in 2000 and are expected to be major contributors to the company's continued strong earnings growth. They added $60 million to PPL Corp.'s net income in 2000. The success can be attributed to several factors, Hecht said, including combined utility and commodity experience, disciplined risk management, and the fact that the marketing and trading operation is backed by a growing fleet generating plants. The combination of PPL's trading and marketing operations and its merchant power plants accounted for 77% of PPL Corp.'s earnings in 2000.

"We've integrated commodity trading and risk management skills with our traditional utility intellectual property," said Hecht. "About half of the 120 people working in our energy marketing operation have been hired from outside the company, and they bring with them a significant knowledge and experience base." He said PPL EnergyPlus plans to increase trading and marketing employment by at least 20%.

The subsidiary markets and trades wholesale energy commodity products in 42 states and Canada.

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