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Industry News

Dominion Resources to Pay $1.3 Billion for Millstone

LCG, Aug. 8, 2000--Dominion Resources Inc. said this morning that it had agreed to pay Northeast Utilities $1.3 billion for the Millstone nuclear power plant complex in Connecticut. The purchase price includes about $105 million for nuclear fuel.

The three-unit Millstone facility was in considerable trouble as recently as the summer of 1997 because of misguided cost-cutting measures, but with new Northeast management under chief executive Michael G. Morris and chief nuclear officer Bruce D. Kenyon, the smallest of the units was permanently retired and the other two units were brought back into service, providing about 2,000 megawatts of much-needed capacity to New England.

Northeast, now in the process of merging with Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, announced several months ago that it would sell Millstone in order to comply with deregulation-related generation divestiture requirements. The company has also sold its fossil-fueled power plants.

The purchase, which Dominion hopes to close by April of next year, will add about 10 percent to Dominions overall generation capacity and will improve its market share in New England.

Thomas E. Capps, Dominions chief executive, said "This acquisition supports our broader corporate strategy to become a major energy provider of choice in the Northeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, home to 40 percent of the nation's demand for energy. By adding Millstone to our diverse portfolio of generating assets, we're positioned to increase our market share in New England significantly."

Morris said "We are extremely pleased that our Millstone nuclear units are being sold to an outstanding company committed to operating a safe and successful national nuclear organization. The men and women of Millstone have been working very hard to fulfill their commitment to become among the best in the nuclear industry. Dominion's purchase of Millstone is a clear indication that this hard work is valued by a company with one of America's finest operating records."

The transaction require regulatory approvals from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Trade Commission or the Department of Justice, the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control and other state public utility commissions where additional owners of minority portions of the station are headquartered.

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