Shareholders of Anadarko Petroleum and Union Pacific Resourcesvoted to approve a $5.4 billion merger of the two companiesyesterday. The merger calls for UPR shareholders to receive 0.455shares of Anadarko common stock for each of their UPR shares.Anadarko shareholders also voted to increase the size of the company’sboard to 15 members from nine. The combined company will be namedAnadarko Petroleum (see Daily GPI, April4).

Sierra Pacific Resources announced that higher fuel and powercosts are expected to cause a dip in corporate earnings. Thecompany blamed it’s two Nevada utility subsidiaries, Nevada Power,and Sierra Pacific Power for the estimated $70-80 million in overbudget fuel expenses. “Similar to other electric utilities in theWest, we have confronted an unprecedented and extremely volatileenergy market over the last several months,” said Mark Ruelle,senior vice president for Sierra Pacific Resources. “As a result,we’ve been forced to pay significantly more for fuel and purchasedpower than we had budgeted at the same time that above-normaltemperatures increased the demand for electricity, particularly insouthern Nevada. “We expect fuel and purchased power expenses tohave a negative impact on second quarter earnings and an ongoingnegative earnings impact for the remainder of the year,” Ruelleadded.

Conectiv Energy Supply signed a letter of intent to acquire a30-acre plot of land from Bethlehem Steel within the BethlehemCommerce Center in Pennsylvania for the construction of a 500 MWgas-fired power plant. Conectiv will build the $300 milliongenerating plant on the site and have it operational as early as2002. Although the plant will initially be a 500 MW plant, it sitson a piece of land adequate for an 1100 MW generating facility.

The NiSource-Columbia merger crossed another hurdle yesterday asthe Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) unanimously approvedthe $6 billion transaction, leaving Virginia as the only state leftout of nine to issue a decision on it (see Daily GPI, July. 7). The commission approved themerger after ensuring that Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania would adhereto certain requirements. The merger has also cleared the mandatorywaiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Act at theU.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. Rulingsare still pending from FERC and the SEC. FERC delayed a decision onthe merger at last Wednesday’s regular meeting.

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