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AES AND SONAT FORM JOINT VENTURE FOR NATURAL GAS-FUELED INDEPENDENT POWER PROJECTS

 AES AND SONAT FORM JOINT VENTURE FOR NATURAL
 GAS-FUELED INDEPENDENT POWER PROJECTS
 BIRMINGHAM, Ala., June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The AES Corporation (NASDAQ: AESC) and Sonat Inc. (NYSE: SNT) today announced that they have agreed to form a 50-50 joint venture to develop, own and operate natural gas-fueled independent power projects in North America and Mexico.
 The venture, to be called AES/Sonat Power, will be headquartered in Arlington, Va. AES will have lead responsibility for project siting, permitting, power purchase contract negotiations, and plant development. Sonat will have lead responsibility for obtaining the gas supply for these projects and for arranging for gas transportation to the plant locations.
 Roger Sant, AES's chairman, stated that: "Over the past 10 years we have emphasized a least-cost power supply strategy which has produced a relatively high proportion of coal in our current mix of projects. More recently, we have recognized the need to diversify our fuel mix to include more natural gas. Our utility customers and their regulatory commissions have, in some cases, understandably shown a preference for lower cost gas-fueled projects. The AES/Sonat venture will move quickly to meet these changing market opportunities."
 Ron Kuehn, Sonat's chairman, said, "Our natural gas industry views the electric generation market as the most exciting source of demand growth for the next decade. AES and Sonat bring complementary people, skills and resources to create a strong competitive presence in project development."
 Walter (Chip) Schroeder of AES has been named to be AES/Sonat Power president and chief executive officer, and Miranda Ferrell of Sonat has been named to be executive vice president of the joint venture.
 AES is a major developer and operator of independent power facilities, with more than 2,000 megawatts of capacity in operation or under construction. Sonat is a worldwide energy company involved in natural gas transmission and marketing, oil and gas exploration and production, and offshore drilling.
 AES, headquartered in Arlington, had sales and earnings in 1991 of $333 million and $43 million, respectively. Sonat is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., with 1991 sales of $1.4 billion and net income of $66 million.
 -0- 6/22/92
 /CONTACT: Thomas W. Barker, Jr. of Sonat, 205-325-3586, or Walter Schroeder of The AES Corporation, 703-522-1315/
 (AESC SNT) CO: The AES Corporation; Sonat Inc. ST: Virginia, Alabama IN: OIL SU: JVN


EA-BR -- AT014 -- 2559 06/22/92 16:42 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 22, 1992
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