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UTILITIES AFFIRM COMMITMENT TO POWER PROJECT

 UTILITIES AFFIRM COMMITMENT TO POWER PROJECT
 PITTSBURGH, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The leaders of two


Pennsylvania electric utility systems today affirmed their commitment to a cooperative venture through which western Pennsylvania electricity will be marketed to eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
 But both warned that delays in the current approval process could threaten the project's long-term benefits and cause hardship for hundreds of property owners and others who are directly affected.
 James R. Leva, chairman, president and chief executive officer of General Public Utilities Corp. (NYSE: GPU) of Parsippany, N.J., and Wesley W. von Schack, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Light Co., made their comments during a visit to the Phillips Power Station in Crescent Township, outside Pittsburgh. The plant is one of two which were idled after the decline of the steel industry and which will be restarted as part of the power sale project.
 "This project is a vital part of Pennsylvania's economic development," Leva said. "It will provide a reliable, affordable source of energy which is needed in the fast-growing areas that we serve in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey."
 The GPU-DQE Transmission Project, currently before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), involves the restart of both the Phillips and the Brunot Island power stations. A high-voltage transmission line will carry 1,500 megawatts of electricity 268 miles across the commonwealth to a substation near Harrisburg, Pa.
 Von Schack emphasized the need for prompt PUC review if the project's benefits are to be fully realized.
 "Timeliness is necessary," von Schack said. "There is an opportunity, of course, that should not be lost, but there are numerous property owners and others who want to see the project finished and they need answers that only a final decision can provide."
 Von Schack also noted that the Phillips Power Station, with a generating capacity of 300 megawatts, is fully equipped with flue gas scrubbers and other environmental control technology.
 "We can market our energy in full compliance with tough new federal clean air guidelines while burning high-sulfur western Pennsylvania coal," von Schack added.
 Von Schack said the project will provide a boost to Pennsylvania's coal industry by utilizing an additional 1.6 million tons of coal, the bulk of which will come from western Pennsylvania. In addition, the Pennsylvania Economy League has estimated that more than 2,000 construction jobs a year will be created over a five-year period as well as 1,500 permanent jobs when construction is completed.
 A portion of the revenues from the power sale will be used to provide rate relief to Duquesne Light customers, including commercial and industrial customers, according to von Schack.
 Both emphasized the project will not only provide a reliable, affordable source of power to Eastern markets, but will allow business and industry to plan for future growth.
 Von Schack noted the cooperative venture represents half a billion dollars of private investment in Pennsylvania at a time when Gov. Robert Casey is pledging millions of public dollars for development infrastructure.
 "It recognizes that western Pennsylvania's abundant resources can be utilized to benefit the business and industrial climate in the East as well," von Schack said.
 -0- 7/14/92
 /CONTACT: Ed Sehon of Duquesne Light, 412-393-6058, or Ray Dotter of GPU-DQE Transmission Project, in Harrisburg, Pa., 717-257-3900/
 (GPU DQE) CO: General Public Utilities Corp.; Duquesne Light Co. ST: Pennsylvania IN: OIL UTI SU:


DM-JG -- PG005 -- 9167 07/14/92 14:01 EDT
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Date:Jul 14, 1992
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