ATLANTA Southern Company officially opened its new energy trading floor today, establishing the electronic nerve center of the companys growing body of North American assets.
When we began to expand beyond our traditional businesses in the Southeast, we knew it would be important to link our newly acquired power plants to a vigorous trading and marketing operation, said A.W. Bill Dahlberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Southern Company. Our plan has worked better and more quickly than we imagined. Opening this new trading floor just three-and-a-half years after we launched our strategy is clear evidence of our success.
The trading floor, staffed by some of the nations top energy traders and marketers, is a clearinghouse for transactions involving electricity, natural gas, coal and oil. These traders and marketers, backed by teams of experts in mathematics, physics, economics, meteorology and other disciplines, also essentially trade in risk, hedging against events that can impact the value of energy commodities their environmental costs or the weather, for example.
The trading floor is operated by Southern Company Energy Marketing, a joint venture of Southern Company subsidiary Southern Energy Inc. and Vastar Resources Inc. Southern Company also trades wholesale electricity generated in its traditional regulated southeastern operations through a separate trading group.
Its important to link assets to energy trading. Assets like power plants are most profitable when used efficiently, with a complete understanding of market conditions and available options, said S. Marce Fuller, president and CEO of Southern Energy Inc. The only way you can understand all of that fully is to be in the business of trading energy commodities.
In many cases, the fuel going into our newly acquired power plants and the electricity coming out of them are bought and sold on this floor, allowing us to make the most profitable use of our North American investments, said Gary Morsches, president of Southern Company Energy Marketing. Were also demonstrating we can bring the same advantages to other companies assets.
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is an international energy company that operates more than 48,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity worldwide. It is the largest producer of electricity in the United States and one of the worlds largest independent power producers. Southern Company subsidiaries and their affiliates serve 12 million retail customers worldwide and millions more through the wholesale market. Based in Atlanta, Southern Company is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric.
Through its Southern Energy Inc. subsidiary, Southern Company has operations in 12 countries on five continents and has a growing presence in North America with assets in the Northeast, the Midwest, California and Texas. Southern Company also provides energy-related marketing, trading and technical services in the United States and Europe and offers Southern LINC wireless telecommunications.