El Paso Corp. (ticker: EP, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
Panda Energy International and El Paso Energy Corporation Sign Pipeline Agreements
DALLAS, TEXAS, June 20, 2000-Panda Energy International, Inc. and
El Paso Energy Corporation (NYSE:EPG) announced today that they have taken a
critical step forward in meeting the fuel transportation needs of a new
2,720-megawatt generating facility being built by Panda in El Dorado, Arkansas.
Union Power Partners, L.P., Panda's project affiliate, and its pipeline
affiliate, Trans-Union Interstate Pipeline L.P., have signed interconnection and
transportation agreements with Gulf States Pipeline, a subsidiary of El Paso
Field Services. El Paso Field Services is the midstream business unit of El Paso
In a related move, Union Power Partners also signed firm transportation
agreements with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, a pipeline business unit of El Paso Energy.
As part of its overall development plans, Panda said Trans-Union would build
a new 42-mile, 30-inch pipeline connecting the El Dorado plant with the Gulf
States Pipeline in Sharon, Louisiana. Required filings, including detailed
environmental and cultural impact studies, were presented to the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission in December 1999. The agency's approval to begin
construction of the line is expected by mid-summer.
When completed, the plant will have a nominal usage of 430,000 MMBtu of
natural gas per day. Union Power Partners will be able to access various gas
basins in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
Panda CEO Robert W. Carter called the agreements a "critical link"
in the culmination of the facility, the largest 100-percent merchant plant ever
built in this country.
"Reliable delivery of fuel is one of the most important aspects of this,
and any other, power plant," Carter explained. "Through these
agreements, we have done a lot to ensure long-term reliability by partnering
with El Paso, one of the most respected companies in the natural gas
Carter said site preparation is underway. First phase operations are
scheduled to go on line in the spring of 2002. An average of 700 workers, with a
peak of 1,200, will be employed during construction phases.
"We are pleased to enhance our strong relationship with Panda by
providing the primary natural gas delivery service to their new El Dorado power
plant," said Robert G. Phillips, president of El Paso Field Services
Company. "By expanding the Gulf States Pipeline, El Paso Energy continues
to meet the needs of its customers through innovative business solutions."
Stephen C. Beasley, president of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company added,
"Tennessee is pleased to have been chosen for firm transportation that will
diversify Panda's supply portfolio, and welcomes the opportunity to provide
flexible and competitively priced services to the merchant electrical generating
Panda Energy is a privately held, non-regulated electric generation company
headquartered in Dallas. Its primary focus is the development, ownership and
operation of clean, low-cost power plants. In addition to El Dorado, it has
facilities under development near Coweta, Okla.; Gila Bend, Ariz.; Tallmadge,
Mich.; Allentown Pa.; Culloden, West, Va.; New Florence, Mo.; and Port St. Lucie
and Leesburg, Fla. Construction is under way on 1,000-megawatt facilities near
Paris, Marion and Odessa, Tex. In addition, the company operates plants in
Roanoke Rapids, N.C. and Brandywine, Md. Further details are available on Panda's
Web site at www.pandaenergy.com.
With over $16 billion in assets, El Paso Energy Corporation provides
comprehensive energy solutions through its strategic business units: Tennessee
Gas Pipeline Company, El Paso Natural Gas Company, Southern Natural Gas Company,
El Paso Merchant Energy Company, El Paso Energy International Company, El Paso
Field Services Company, and El Paso Production Company. The company owns North
America's largest natural gas pipeline system, both in terms of throughput and
miles of pipeline, and has operations in natural gas transmission, merchant
energy services, power generation, international project development, gas
gathering and processing, and gas and oil production. On May 5, the stockholders
of both El Paso Energy and The Coastal Corporation overwhelmingly voted in favor
of merging the two organizations. The combined company will have assets of $35
billion and be one of the world's leading integrated energy companies. 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
Panda Energy International, Inc.
Striegel & Associates
Office: (800) 663-1136
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.