LG&E Energy said last week its exit from the speculativeenergy marketing business is nearly complete. The company, whichwas among the top 10 largest power marketers and top 20 largest gasmarketers last year, completed four groups of portfolio salestransactions that are designed to offset a $232 million secondquarter loss suffered when LG&E was forced to cover a powermarketing agreement when power prices spiked to $7,000/MWh in June.
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San Francisco-based PG&E Corp. leap-frogged the continent tocomplete the $1.59 billion acquisition of New England ElectricSystem’s generating business, including hydro and gas-fired plantswith 5,100 MW of capacity. The acquisition was made by PG&Esubsidiary U.S. Generating Co.
A 14% increase in electric sales and the absence of $70 millionin merger-related costs (posted in 2Q97) sent Duke Energy earningsper share soaring 77% during the second quarter to 76 cents/share,well above analysts’ estimates. Duke reported earnings for commonstock of $274.4 million compared to $157.6 million in 2Q97.
TransCanada PipeLines Limited and NOVA Corp. last week completedtheir merger, the largest ever undertaken by energy companies inCanada. The new TransCanada PipeLines Limited and NOVA Corp. begantrading in Canada July 3. Trading began in the United StatesMonday.
An additional 1.6 million customers in 41 Ohio counties could bechoosing alternative gas suppliers this winter, followed by morethan 2.8 million customers in 57 of Ohio’s 88 counties in November1999, if the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) accepts itsstaff’s recommendations. Based on good results in pilot programslast winter in metropolitan Toledo (Columbia Gas), Canton andMarietta (East Ohio Gas) and in greater Cincinnati (Cincinnati Gas& Electric), staff told the full commission the three pilotprograms should be expanded as soon as possible.