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DUQUESNE LIGHT COLLEGE TRUST BOND SHELF RATED 'BBB+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 DUQUESNE LIGHT COLLEGE TRUST BOND SHELF RATED 'BBB+' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Duquesne Light Co.'s $400 million shelf registration of collateral trust bonds is rated "BBB+" by Fitch, it was announced today. The credit trend is improving.
 The ratings reflect an aggressively leveraged capital structure, including lease obligations, that is mitigated by Duquesne's relatively strong cash flow and manageable capital requirements. In addition, the company continues to reduce capital costs by refinancing and retiring long-term debt and preferred stock.
 Duquesne has no plans to construct new base load generating plants. Over the next several years, internal cash generation should continue to fund all or most construction outlays. With no new money requirements, Duquesne can reduce debt leverage and improve interest coverage, which are substantially weakened by Beaver Valley Unit 2 lease obligations. A conservative payout policy by Duquesne's parent, DQE, can also strengthen Duquesne's equity over time.
 Construction expenditures, excluding AFUDC, are forecast to average about $135 million annually through 1996, but could rise in the later years if Duquesne wins approvals to complete a 500 megawatt power sale to General Public Utilities (GPU). The GPU agreement requires refurbishing two units now in cold storage and construction of a 268 mile, 500 kilovolt transmission line. Duquesne's share of the project will cost about $160 million. GPU will pay $150 million for a 50 percent interest in one of the refurbished plants and will also own and pay for two thirds of the transmission line. Difficulties in siting the power line have delayed its operation and the start of the power sale to 1997. This represents a three year delay in the power sale and a one year delay in the scheduled operation of the transmission line.
 The completion of this line would allow Duquesne to include its investment in the two units in rate base. Also, the completed line would be a valuable asset.
 Duquesne, which has only limited exposure to the Clean Air Act, serves Pittsburgh and surrounding areas in southwestern Pennsylvania.
 -0- 11/11/92
 /CONTACT: Robert Hornick of Fitch, 212-908-0564/ CO: Duquesne Light Co. ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU: RTG


TS -- NY028 -- 9698 11/11/92 11:28 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 11, 1992
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