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Illinova Bolsters Midwest Marketing

Illinova Bolsters Midwest Marketing

Illinova Energy Partners (IEP) purchased the Chicago holdings of the natural gas marketer Energy Dynamics Inc. last week, adding 1,400 commercial and industrial customers to its Midwest base. Illinova also said the purchase will push its overall gas revenues above $100 million annually. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"This purchase immediately strengthens our natural gas customer base throughout Illinois and Indiana. However, the real benefit comes from our ability to introduce those commercial and industrial users to the savings opportunities available with comprehensive energy services," said Tom Rainwater, vice president of IEP's central region.

Along with supplying gas to its new customers, Illinova also will offer energy management services. Rainwater said IEP can provide 15-20% savings compared to their customers' present bills.

Dan Schooley, president of Energy Dynamic's parent company, Lumen Energy Co., said Illinova's ability to offer other services besides gas supply was a major factor in the decision. "We wanted to assure our customers of continued natural gas service, as well as of the added benefit of comprehensive energy management services and the ability to purchase electricity from an established power marketing company in the near future."

Energy Dynamics serves large-volume energy users in the commercial and industrial sector. It also was one of the firms involved in the recent natural gas pilot programs launched in the Chicago area by NICOR and Peoples Gas, whereby small business users selected their gas supplier. It is the fourth marketing operation IEP has purchased in the past seven months. The others include Tempe, AZ-based Quality Energy Services (QES), EMC Gas Transmission in Michigan and Equitable Resource Marketing in Indiana.

"The Energy Dynamics acquisition is right in line with our strategy to aggressively grow our customer base and position Illinova Energy Partners as a full-service energy provider in each of the markets we serve," said Ralph Tschantz, IEP senior vice president of marketing. IEP plans to increase its natural gas revenues to $150 million by the end of this year. It also forecasts a customer base of 5,000 industrial and commercial facilities.

John Norris

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