Southern Electric joins NRG-Zeigler bid for Cajun

Southern Electric International, a subsidiary of Southern Company, today announced that it has joined NRG Energy Inc. and Zeigler Coal Holding Company in their offer to purchase the non-nuclear assets of Cajun Electric Power Cooperative.

The newly combined offer was incorporated in the amended plan filed Sept. 30 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Middle District of Louisiana by Ralph R. Mabey, the trustee of Cajun Electric. The combined plan offers $1.09 billion in cash for the non-nuclear assets of Cajun. The assets would be acquired by Louisiana Generating LLC, which would be owned by affiliates of Southern Electric, NRG Energy and Zeigler.

Cajun generates and sells electricity to a group of 12 distribution cooperatives which deliver power to residences and businesses. The cooperatives that buy electricity from Cajun serve more than 1 million people in Louisiana. Cajun entered bankruptcy due to delays and cost overruns associated with a nuclear power project in which it had an interest.

“Southern Electric joining forces with NRG and Zeigler allows the members of Cajun and their customers to enjoy the benefits of economic and reliable power resulting from the depth and range of expertise and resources provided by the consortium,” said Gary Kubik, Southern Electric’s project director.

The previously filed plan of NRG Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Northern States Power Company, and Zeigler Coal Holding Co. to buy Cajun’s assets was selected as the leading bid in April by the trustee. Southern Electric will be withdrawing the competing plan it filed June 26.

“This is an opportunity to expand the resources and expertise available to the project,” said Randy Harrison, another member of Southern Electric’s development team. “The three members of Louisiana Generating provide operating, fuel management and energy marketing expertise, in addition to access to capital.”

Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO), the nation’s largest producer of electricity, is the parent firm of five electric utilities: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric. Other subsidiaries include Southern Communications Services, Southern Nuclear, Southern Development and Investment Group and Southern Company Services. Southern Company’s common stock is one of the 20 most widely held corporate stocks in America.

Southern Electric, also based in Atlanta, develops, builds, owns and operates power production and delivery facilities and provides a broad range of technical services to industrial companies and utilities in the U.S. and international markets. It also administers energy trading and marketing activities through Southern Company affiliate Southern Energy Marketing.