HI Acquires Four SoCal Edison Plants

Houston Industries Power Generation (HIPG) completed its $237 million acquisition of four gas-fired generating plants totaling 2,276 MW from Southern California Edison. HIPG had submitted the winning bids for SCE's Ellwood, Mandalay, Etiwanda and Cool Water plants, which have been renamed Oeste, Ocean Vista, Mountain Vista and Alta Power, respectively.

Encouraged by the news, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter raised its rating on Houston Industries from neutral to out-perform and said the company is on its way to becoming a "hyper-electric."

"We are pleased to be among the pioneers participating in the nation's first competitive electric power market," said Joe Bob Perkins, chief operating officer of HIPG. "Completing this acquisition is an important first step in HI's strategy of building or acquiring a portfolio of generating assets in key regions of the U.S. to support HI's wholesale trading and marketing operation."

To date, HIPG has announced acquisitions or power development projects totaling more than 4,000 MW in the western United States. Last month, HIPG announced an agreement to purchase SCE's 1,500 MW Ormond Beach plant and expects to close that acquisition in June. The company also has a 50% interest in the 480 MW El Dorado Energy plant currently under construction near Las Vegas, which is one of the first large-scale merchant electric generating facilities to be built in the U.S.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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