Orion completes purchase of three NYC power stations

Baltimore-based firm to manage them from new Syracuse office

August 24, 1999|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

Orion Power Holdings Inc., a joint venture of Constellation Energy Group and Goldman, Sachs & Co., said yesterday that it completed its $550 million purchase of three New York City power stations.

Orion announced its intent to purchase the power stations from Consolidated Edison Co. of New York in March.

The stations, in Queens and Brooklyn, are fired by natural gas and fuel oil. They have a total summer electricity generating capacity of 1,555 megawatts -- enough to meet the needs of 2 million customers and representing about 25 percent of the generating capacity in New York City.

The Baltimore-based company will manage the power stations from a newly opened regional headquarters in Syracuse, N.Y., said Lori Scheiner, an Orion spokeswoman.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in yesterday's Business section incorrectly stated the total summer electricity generating capacity of three New York power plants purchased by Orion Power Holdings Inc. The plants have a total capacity of 1,855 megawatts. The Sun regrets the error.
CLARIFICATION: In an article in Tuesday's Business section about Orion Power Holdings Inc.'s acquisition of three New York City power plants, a comment by Lori Scheiner, a spokeswoman for Orion, should have read: "New York offers a good opportunity for us. It serves as a basis to develop a nationwide presence."

The regional office will also manage the rest of Orion's Syracuse portfolio, consisting of a gas-fired power station and 71 hydroelectric generating facilities recently purchased for $425 million.

The entire portfolio brings Orion's generating capacity to about 2,600 megawatts in the region.

"We like what we see in New York as it goes about restructuring its electricity industry," Scheiner said.

"New York offers a good opportunity for us as a basis to develop a nationwide presence."

Constellation, which is the parent company of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., formed Orion with Goldman Sachs in March 1998.

Constellation said it will depend on its strategy of buying generating assets and marketing power to help make up for expected revenue losses in its traditional business once BGE is deregulated in July.

Constellation's shares closed yesterday at $29.3125 unchanged. Goldman Sachs shares closed at $63.625, up $1.3125.

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