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DUFF & PHELPS: PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY OF COLORADO $134.5 MILLION COLLATERAL TRUST BONDS (SHELF) RATED 'BBB+'

 CHICAGO, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has assigned a rating of `BBB+' (Triple-B-Plus) to Public Service Company of Colorado's (NYSE: PSR) shelf registration for $134.5 million of collateral trust bonds. Proceeds primarily will be used to refinance debt.
 This is the first registration under the company's new mortgage bond indenture. A like amount of first mortgage bonds (old indenture) will be pledged as collateral for the new bonds and will remain pledged until all outstanding first mortgage bonds are retired. Provisions under the new indenture will ultimately provide the company more flexibility than the "old" first mortgage indenture. Provisions of the first mortgage indenture remain in effect while first mortgage bonds are outstanding.
 Additional equity issuances and regulatory support will be necessary for improvement in PSR's credit fundamentals. Earnings, coverages and cash flows have improved recently, largely as a result of weather. A decision in the company's pending rate case is expected by yearend. The company has requested electric and gas rate increases totaling $81.6 million. The company's 14.4 percent authorized return on equity is at risk.
 The rating recognizes the risks inherent with the decommissioning of the Fort St. Vrain nuclear plant. The Public Utilities Commission of the State of Colorado (CPUC) approved recovery of $124 million over 12 years for decommissioning expenses.
 Public Service Company of Colorado provides electric and gas service in an area with an estimated population of 2.7 million.
 -0- 10/8/93
 /CONTACT: John C. Dell of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3161/
 (PSR)


CO: Public Service Company of Colorado ST: Colorado IN: UTI SU: RTG

MP -- NY020 -- 0112 10/08/93 11:24 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 8, 1993
Words:278
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