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Industry News

British Energy Sells Retail Electric Supply Business

LCG, Aug. 7, 2000--British Energy Plc, the largest United Kingdom nuclear power generator, has sold its residential electricity and gas supply business to Scottish and Southern Energy, the Financial Times of London reported this morning.

The 210 million ($316 million U.S.) cash sale of Swalec will allow British Energy to focus on wholesale contract sales and direct sales to industrial and commercial customers ahead of the introduction of new electricity trading arrangements in November, the paper said.

Scottish and Southern has also signed a 10-year power purchase agreement to buy 10 terawatt hours of electricity a year from British Energy for the first five years, falling to 7.5TWh a year thereafter.

Peter Hollins, British Energys chief executive, said the new power trading scheme had made residential marketing unattractive to his company. "Through the deal announced today, we have sold our retail business to a good home and have secured a long-term take-off contract for around 20 per cent of our output in England and Wales," he said.

Swalec has 850,000 electricity and 300,000 natural gas customers. The deal will push Scottish and Southerns total customer numbers to the critical 5 million level thought to be needed to compete in the UK supply market, the Financial Times said.

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