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DUFF & PHELPS RATES JERSEY CENTRAL POWER & LIGHT COMPANY $700 MILLION FIRST MORTGAGE BONDS; SECURED MEDIUM-TERM NOTES, SERIES D

 CHICAGO, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has assigned a rating of `A' (Single-A) to the first mortgage bonds/secured medium-term notes, Series D portion of Jersey Central Power & Light Company's (JCP&L) combined $700 million shelf registration. A rating of `A-' (Single-A-Minus) has been assigned to the cumulative preferred stock portion.
 JCP&L, a subsidiary of General Public Utilities Corporation (GPU), has maintained relatively stable credit protection measures in recent years. Future improvement is limited by the sluggish service territory economy, growing construction expenditures and related financing. The company is heavily dependent on purchased power. A low reserve margin increases risk both in terms of new base load capacity requirements and replacement of old plant.
 The New Jersey Board of Regulatory Commissioners (BRC) recently approved a $131.3 million increase in rates, based on a 12.20 percent return on equity (ROE). The company had requested a $215 million rate increase, with a 13.3 percent ROE. Primary differences stem from the lower allowed ROE, rate base disallowances of post-test year plant additions and property held for future use, and limited recovery of Oyster Creek operation and maintenance expense. The order does provide short-term relief; however, ongoing regulatory support will be necessary to maintain debt protection measures at satisfactory levels.
 In addition to JCP&L's 25 percent ownership interest in Unit 1 of the Three Mile Island (TMI-1) nuclear station, it is the sole owner of the Oyster Creek nuclear unit. In light of the recent Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff report regarding possible weakened nuclear reactor vessels, which could result in some early plant retirements, an analysis of the Oyster Creek reactor vessel has been submitted to the NRC. A similar analysis for TMI-1 is being conducted. Preliminary results indicate that the durability of both reactors are sufficient for their currently planned operating lives.
 Jersey Central Power & Light Company provides electric service to approximately 887,000 customers in northwestern and east central New Jersey. Jersey Central is the largest revenue producer in the GPU system.
 -0- 4/13/93
 /CONTACT: John C. Dell of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3161/
 (GPU)


CO: Jersey Central Power & Light Company ST: New Jersey IN: UTI SU: RTG

WB -- NY078 -- 5376 04/13/93 16:26 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 13, 1993
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