Sual achieves major milestone.

Both units of Southern Energy’s new 1,218-megawatt, coal-fired plant in Sual, the Philippines, have begun commercial operation, signaling an important landmark for the company as well as for the Asian nation.

Commercial operation, a goal since construction began in 1995, means that electricity from both units is available to the National Power Corporation of the Philippines, and that Southern Energy is paid for the product. Sual will have a positive impact on Southern Company’s earnings in the fourth quarter, said Southern Energy CEO Marce Fuller.

“Commercial operation of Sual is a major milestone for Southern Company,” Fuller said.

“As the largest, lowest-cost major power station in the Philippines, Sual will help lessen that country’s dependence on imported oil for its energy security and it will hopefully help lower costs to consumers. Sual’s environmental performance is also the best of any major power station in the country, and energy from Sual will displace power produced at older, higher-cost, higher-emission plants,” noted Rick Kuester, CEO of Southern Energy`s Consolidated Electric Power Asia (CEPA) unit.

“The strength of a company is in the people employed, and Sual has broadened the pool of talented and dedicated employees available for future endeavors,” Kuester said. “More important, it has further contributed to the overall credibility of CEPA as an organization that meets its commitments.”

An environmental leader

State-of-the-art emission control technologies make Sual the best environmental performer of any power plant in the country. It is the nation’s first to install flue-gas desulfurization, considered the most advanced technology for removing sulfur dioxide from emissions at large power plants.

Sual uses other advanced technologies to meet stringent requirements of the Philippine Clean Air Act and World Bank air quality standards.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is an international energy company with more than $35 billion in assets through regional utilities and operations around the world. It is the largest producer of electricity in the United States and one of the world’s leading independent power producers. 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 subsidiary, Southern Company supplies electricity in 10 countries on four 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.