Heintz named a vice president at BGE Former regulator to head natural gas operations


July 20, 1996|By Kevin L. McQuaid | Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. yesterday named former utility regulator Frank O. Heintz as a vice president to head its natural gas operations, which the utility has targeted as a key area for growth.

Heintz' appointment also may help BGE with potential obstacles to its pending $2.8 billion merger with Potomac Electric Power Co., although both Heintz and BGE downplayed any such role.

Before his April 1995 resignation, Heintz was chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, the state's utility regulatory body. As a former regulator, he is prohibited from appearing before the PSC before April 1997.

"I am delighted that Frank Heintz will be guiding our gas division into the next century," BGE Chairman and Chief Executive Christian H. Poindexter said in a prepared statement. "Frank is a true visionary whose leadership abilities I have admired for years."

Since leaving the PSC, Heintz has been executive director of an arm of the American Gas Association, a trade group that deals with legislative and policy issues.

Heintz, 52, eventually will become head of all natural gas operations at BGE, a division that serves more than 550,000 customers and generated $400 million in revenue last year. In that capacity, he will succeed Herbert D. Coss Jr., 62, who is retiring after four decades with the utility.

"This gives me an opportunity to deliver services and gain hands-on experience," said Heintz, who will join BGE Aug. 26. "With competitive trends sweeping the industry, the challenge to all gas providers is to provide new services and add value."

Eventually, Heintz is expected to lead the natural gas operations of Constellation Energy Corp., the $15.4 billion entity that BGE and Pepco plan to create through a merger in March 1997.

Heintz is "a good person to have on your team while you're in the midst of a merger," said analyst Alex Hart of Ferris, Baker Watts.

Pub Date: 7/20/96

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