EDITORS: Please do not use
"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
ENERGY GROUP BEGINS CONSTRUCTION OF MICHIGAN POWER PLANT
BETHESDA, Md.óPG&E Corporation's
(NYSE: PCG) National Energy Group today announced it has begun construction
of the 1,170-megawatt Covert Generating Plant in southwest Michigan.
Projected to begin operating in summer of 2003, Covert Generating
will be a combined cycle, gas-fired plant, producing enough electricity
to power roughly 1 million homes.
The plant site is located
in Covert Township, about 48 miles west of Kalamazoo. As a "merchant"
plant, Covert Generating is intended to sell its output primarily
in the competitive wholesale markets via the Michigan Electric Transmission
Company lines, a subsidiary of Consumers Energy.
"The construction of the
Covert Generating Plant is an important step in meeting the growing
need for electricity throughout the Midwest," said Chris Iribe,
president and chief operating officer of the National Energy Group's
East Region. "We look forward to the opportunity to provide efficient
power at competitive costs."
The Covert Plant's three
generators, fueled by natural gas, will be driven by advanced Mitsubishi
501G turbines in a combined-cycle configuration to optimize efficiency
and environmental performance. Covert Generating last spring commenced
construction of a water intake and discharge system from Lake Michigan
to the plant that will be owned and operated by the nearby City
of South Haven and will be available to serve future drinking water
needs of the City and several neighboring townships.
The Covert development team
selected The Shaw Group Inc. and its subsidiary, Stone & Webster,
as the primary contractor for the project. The Covert Generating
Plant received its final permits early this year.
"Construction of the Covert
Generating Plant comes at the end of a long development effort.
We're grateful to the people of Covert Township and neighboring
communities for their patience and support during this complicated
process," said Iribe.
Covert Generating Company,
LLC, is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of PG&E National Energy
Group. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., the National Energy Group
develops, owns and operates electric generating and natural gas
pipeline facilities and provides energy trading, marketing and risk-management
This news release contains statements
concerning plans for the construction and operation of the Covert
Generating Plant that may be considered forward-looking statements
that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual future
results could differ materially from those expressed or implied
in any forward-looking statements. Some of the key factors that
could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are
not limited to, (i) changes in government regulations, including
federal and state regulation of the electric energy industry; (ii)
the delay, interruption or prevention of commercial operations because
of various development, construction and operation risks, such as
a failure to obtain financing, necessary permits or equipment, the
failure of third-party contractors to perform their contractual
obligations, the failure of equipment to perform as anticipated,
or an inability to obtain equipment or labor on acceptable terms;
(iii) the development and operation of competing power plants; (iv)
fluctuations in natural gas and electricity prices and the ability
to successfully manage such price fluctuations, (v) the risks associated
with marketing and selling power from power plants in the newly
competitive energy market, and (vi) the other risks identified in
PG&E Corporation's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange