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NORTH CAROLINA EASTERN POWER AGENCY BONDS RATED 'A' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency's $117 million power system revenue bonds, series 1993 A, and $1.48 billion power system revenue bonds, refunding series 1993 B, are rated "A" by Fitch. The "A" rating on $1.75 billion of outstanding parity revenue bonds is affirmed. The credit trend is declining. The bonds are scheduled to sell on a negotiated basis the week of January 11 by a Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. Inc. syndicate.
 The agency is being pressured by the need to raise rates to offset a reduction in the sellback arrangement with Carolina Power & Light Co. (CP&L) and operating problems at the Brunswick nuclear plant. Over the next several years, wholesale electric rates are projected to rise significantly, reflecting costs associated with the agency's nuclear plants, scheduled reductions in capacity sold to CP&L, and less available moneys in the rate stabilization account. To help improve members competitiveness, the agency has adopted a demand-side management program, expanded statewide marketing efforts, and created new approaches to rate setting. However, the success of these programs will not be known for sometime.
 Necessary plant improvements and the need to upgrade performance standards of the Brunswick plant are being addressed through a three- year improvement plan submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by CP&L on Dec. 15, 1992. Costs associated with this plan have been estimated preliminarily, but could be higher. Should this occur, the effect would be to further increase charges to the participants.
 Helping to mitigate these concerns, the agency's bulk power supply program is diversified and operating performance of most generating units have been favorable. Construction of the new peaking project and recent supplemental power supply arrangements should further reduce expenses. In addition, economic factors of the participants continue to improve, aided by diversification away from agriculture and textiles.
 -0- 1/8/93
 /CONTACT: Alan Spen, 212-908-0594, or Susan Courtney, 212-908-0503, both of Fitch/


CO: North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency ST: North Carolina IN: UTI SU: RTG

TS -- NY037 -- 3055 01/08/93 13:06 EST
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Date:Jan 8, 1993
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