El Paso Corp. (ticker: EP, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
El Paso Energy International Assumes Ownership of Rio Negro Power Plant in Brazil
Houston, Texas, September 21, 1999-El Paso Energy International Company, a business unit of El Paso Energy
Corporation (NYSE:EPG), announced that it has assumed ownership of the 158-megawatt Rio
Negro power plant located in Manaus, Brazil. El Paso Energy International executed a
turnkey contract with Wärtsilä Rio Negro and Wärtsilä NSD in August 1998 to engineer,
procure materials, construct, and commission the plant. Wärtsilä completed the $116.5
million project ahead of schedule. The plant will be inaugurated in a formal ceremony on
September 24, 1999. Electricity from the Rio Negro facility will be sold under a long-term
contract to Eletronorte, a subsidiary of the Brazilian federal electric utility.
"El Paso Energy International has been working to relieve the blackouts in
Manaus since 1997," said John Hushon, president of El Paso Energy International.
"Our first project involved installation of 248 megawatts of generation in February
1998. Our next step was to initiate the Rio Negro project. Original plans for Rio Negro
called for a 126-megawatt facility; however, we modified the project to include an
additional 32 megawatts at the request of Eletronorte. We are pleased to have a role in
meeting the needs of the Manaus region."
With over $10 billion in assets, El Paso Energy Corporation provides energy
solutions through its strategic business units: Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company,
El Paso Natural Gas Company, El Paso Field Services Company, El Paso Power
Services Company, El Paso Energy Marketing Company, and El Paso Energy
International Company. The company owns the nation's only integrated coast-to-coast
natural gas pipeline system and has operations in natural gas transmission, gas gathering
and processing, power generation, energy marketing, and international energy
infrastructure development. On June 10, the stockholders of both El Paso Energy and
Sonat Inc. overwhelmingly voted in favor of merging the two organizations. The merger is
expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, concurrent with the completion of
regulatory reviews. Visit El Paso Energy's web site at www.epenergy.com.
Wärtsilä NSD is a global engineering company focusing on power generation, marine
propulsion and industrial applications. The company designs, manufactures, licenses,
markets and services Wärtsilä and Sulzer engines from 0.5 to 66MW. Production facilities
are located in Finland, Norway, the Netherlands and Italy, with assembly plants in Spain,
the USA and India. In 1998 Wärtsilä NSD had net sales of 10.9 BFIM.
The local network company Wärtsilä NSD SO Brazil, with some 40 employees, is situated
in Rio De Janeiro. The main business areas include marine, power plants and service. A new
service outlet in Manaus is being implemented. WNS Brazil supplies power plants to federal
utilities like Eletronorte/Eletrobras, industries, independent power producers, and marine
engines to Petrobras and SAI Powers.
This release includes forward-looking statements and projections, made in
reliance on the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. The companies have made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and
assumptions on which these statements and projections are based are current, reasonable,
and complete. However, a variety of factors could cause actual results to differ
materially from the projections, anticipated results or other expectations expressed in
this release. While the companies make these statements and projections in good faith,
neither the companies nor their managements can guarantee that the anticipated future
results will be achieved. Reference should be made to the companies' (and their
affiliates') Securities and Exchange Commission filings for additional important
factors that may affect actual results.