EDELNOR to take part in Chilean Norgas pipeline

The boards of Southern Company subsidiary Southern Energy Inc. and its affiliate, Chilean utility Empresa Eléctrica del Norte Grande (EDELNOR), have approved the utility’s participation in the construction and ownership of the Norgas natural gas pipeline.

The boards also approved funding for the addition of a 240-megawatt gas-fired power plant that will receive fuel from the 682-mile pipeline, which will run from Argentina into northern Chile. Norgas will give notice to proceed on the project to the pipeline construction contractor immediately.

“The decision to fund this pipeline and the associated power plant demonstrates our commitment to the Chilean market,” said A.W. Dahlberg, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Southern Company.

EDELNOR will build the power plant in Mejillones, Chile, on the site where it currently has one operating coal-fired power plant and another nearing completion. Construction for the gas-fired plant is scheduled for March 1998, with commercial operation March 1, 2000.

Southern Energy, through an affiliate, owns 67 percent of EDELNOR, which provides 256 megawatts of electric capacity, operates the transmission grid for northern Chile, and has a new 162-megawatt unit scheduled to enter service in March 1998. Much of the electricity serves a rapidly expanding copper mining industry.

EDELNOR is developing the Norgas project with Tractebel, a Belgian company, and Techint, an Argentine construction company that will build the pipeline.

Southern Energy Inc., a unit of Southern Company, develops, builds, owns and operates power production and delivery facilities and provides a broad range of services to utilities and industrial companies around the world. Its Southern Company Energy Marketing subsidiary, jointly owned with Vastar Resources Inc., provides energy trading, marketing and financial services and other energy-related commodities, products and services to customers in North America.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO), the largest producer of electricity in the United States, is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric. Based in Atlanta, Southern Company supplies electricity in nine countries on four continents and provides energy-related marketing, trading and technical services and wireless telecommunications. Southern Company’s common stock is one of the 20 most widely held corporate stocks in America.