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JACKSONVILLE ELECTRIC AUTHORITY (FLA.) $181 MILLION ELECTRIC SYSTEM BONDS 'AA+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA), Fla.'s $181 million electric system revenue bonds are rated `AA+' by Fitch. The existing `AA+' ratings on $2.1 billion St. Johns River Power Park system revenue bonds, $547.8 million electric system bonds, and $169.1 million bulk power supply system revenue bonds are affirmed. JEA's $118.6 million `F-1+' commercial paper notes are also affirmed. The credit trend is stable. The bonds are scheduled to sell through negotiation by a Bear, Stearns & Co. syndicate.
 JEA's numerous credit strengths include a well balanced power supply program, sound financial operations, very competitive electric rates, and a well regarded management team. The authority's resource mix incorporates its ownership interest in the highly efficient St. Johns River Power Park coal-fired units, which have achieved an approximate 83 percent capacity factor since commercial operation. In addition, JEA's well integrated transmission system enhances the system's overall resource mix. Financial operations remain strong with a solid internal cash flow and electric system debt service coverage of 2.70x in fiscal 1992. Management's emphasis on maintaining competitive rates leaves JEA well positioned to meet the challenges in a changing industry.
 While the authority is required to transfer money to the city's general fund annually, JEA's use of a set formula is considered sound business practice. In April 1993, the city council voted to keep the contribution rate at its current level through fiscal 1998. In conjunction with this decision, JEA will assist the city in structuring a commercial paper program to finance a portion of the city's capital improvement program.
 In June 1993, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission voted to close Cecil Field Naval Air Station in Jacksonville. The phaseout is expected to take several years. Although the base accounts for less than 1 percent of JEA's total sales, it employs about 8,500. However, the remaining naval operations served by JEA, about 3.5 percent of sales, are expected to benefit from the consolidation of other naval facilities nationwide.
 -0- 8/26/93
 /CONTACT: Susan M. Courtney, 212-908-0503, or Alan Spen, 212-908-0594, both of Fitch/


CO: Jacksonville Electric Authority ST: Florida IN: UTI SU: RTG

MP -- NY025 -- 9067 08/26/93 10:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 26, 1993
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