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NEW ENGLAND ELECTRIC SYSTEM ANNOUNCES NATION'S FIRST USAID-EASTERN EUROPEAN ELECTRIC UTILITY PARTNERSHIP

 NEW ENGLAND ELECTRIC SYSTEM ANNOUNCES NATION'S FIRST
 USAID-EASTERN EUROPEAN ELECTRIC UTILITY PARTNERSHIP
 WESTBOROUGH, Mass., March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- New England Electric System companies (NYSE: NES) (NEES), in cooperation with the United States Energy Association (USEA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), today announced the formation of the nation's first partnership under the USEA/USAID program between an American electric utility and an Eastern European electric system. As part of a USEA program to assist utilities in the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe, NEES' service subsidiary, New England Power Service Company (NEPSCO), has agreed to become the sister utility of the Hungarian Power Companies, Ltd., (MVMRT), exchanging information on engineering, finance and management over the next three years.
 On April 6, a delegation of four MVMRT officials will attend a two-day series of meetings and presentations with NEES and USEA officials at the company's headquarters in Westborough Mass. On April 7, the two utilities will sign a formal agreement establishing the partnership.
 "As nations begin to break down the political and social barriers that for too long have separated us, NEES is proud to be part of this history in-the-making," said John W. Rowe, president and chief executive officer of NEES.
 "The Hungarian electric utilities have let us know that they need assistance in areas such as reliability and environmental protection," continued Rowe. "As a utility that has worked diligently to provide our customers reliable service, with a strong commitment to reducing our environmental impacts at affordable cost over the next decade, NEES is in a unique position to offer the benefits of our experience to the Hungarians."
 Specifically, the utility partnership program will focus on three primary areas: an engineering, operations and managerial information exchange between NEES and MVMRT; the organization of regional seminars to be conducted in Eastern Europe for other interested utilities; and the transfer of technical information gained from the partnership to other Eastern European utilities.
 "The USEA Utility Partnership Program is the ideal mechanism to provide utilities like MVMRT a broad-based overview of utility issues commonly addressed in the U.S.," said Eric W. Haskins, USEA program manager. "In turn, U.S. electric utilities have much to gain through the establishment of long-term international relationships. We're very pleased that NEES, as a recognized leader in many utility industry areas, is the first U.S. electric utility to participate in our partnership program."
 Under the terms of the partnership, expenses of NEES officials will be covered by USAID. Salaries for the participating NEES officials while in Hungary, will be paid for by NEES.
 In addition, NEES announced the creation of New England Electric Resources, Inc., an international subsidiary to conduct this and additional business in Europe.
 New England Electric System (NEES) is a public utility holding company headquartered in Westborough, Mass. Subsidiaries include three retail operating companies -- Massachusetts Electric Company, which serves 906,000 customers in 146 Massachusetts communities; The Narragansett Electric Company, which serves 314,000 customers in 27 Rhode Island communities; and Granite State Electric Company, which serves 34,000 customers in 21 New Hampshire communities. Other subsidiaries include a wholesale generating company, New England Power Company (NEP) which operates 21 generating stations; and a service company, New England Power Service Company (NEPSCO).
 -0- 3/26/92
 /CONTACT: Christine Baratta of New England Electric System Companies, 508-366-9011 (days); 617-498-9880 (evenings)/
 (NES) CO: New England Electric System Companies ST: Massachusetts IN: UTI SU:


TM-PB -- NE006 -- 2030 03/26/92 14:10 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 26, 1992
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