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Matthews: WWP an 'Inventive' Utility

June 8, 1998
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Matthews: WWP an 'Inventive' Utility

After less than two years as president of NGC Corp. (now called Dynegy), Tom Matthews is leaving the company for an organization he considers a non-traditional utility, Washington Water Power (WWP). He said the company he will run as CEO and chairman of the board is among about a half dozen utilities that have been "inventive and creative" in responding to deregulation.

"From what I've seen in the couple months I've looked at them, all four areas of their company are doing very well and have substantial opportunities for growth. And this is the generation side, the transmission side, the distribution side in both power and gas. as well as the non-regulated side.

"One of the things that looks good is [WWP marketing subsidiary] Avista [Energy] has done very well in the fundamental physical business rather than just play a lot of the volatile financial trading between marketers." Avista recently joined the top 25% of the nation's power marketers, ranking 21st in sales volumes. Attaining the assets necessary for successful physical trading has been a focus of NGC.

One possible future move for WWP will be the acquisition of additional generating assets, although details are not yet known, Matthews said. "It depends on what areas of the country we want to grow into and how much we want to add right where we are." Matthews said what he learned at NGC about opportunities for power generation and the running of a disciplined trading operation will be useful knowledge at WWP.

Matthews' NGC responsibilities included oversight of worldwide operations, including Warren Petroleum, NGC's gas liquids subsidiary; NGC Global Energy, the company's international division; Destec Energy, the company's power division; and the corporate merger and acquisition, legal, regulatory, and information technology functions. CEO of NGC and now Dynegy Chuck Watson praised Matthews' abilities. He said he originally hired Matthews, in part, to oversee the integration of Warren Petroleum and Destec into NGC. Watson said there will be no replacement for Matthews.

Prior to his time with NGC, Matthews held the position of vice president of Texaco, president of Texaco's Global Gas and Power Division, and president and chief executive officer of Texaco Natural Gas, where he was responsible for worldwide power, natural gas processing, gas liquids, gas pipelines, and gas sales and marketing operations. Matthews also held positions in Texaco as vice president of gas for Texaco U.S.A and president of Texaco Refining and Marketing, Inc.

Before joining Texaco, Matthews spent eight years at Tenneco as president of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company and executive vice president of Tenneco Gas. He also spent 16 years with Exxon in various domestic and international engineering, management, and executive positions.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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