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EQUITABLE RESOURCES DEDICATES PENNSYLVANIA'S FIRST NATURAL GAS FUEL CELL

 PITTSBURGH, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The first commercial fuel cell in Pennsylvania, and one of only four in the country, was dedicated today by Equitech a division of Equitable Resources, Inc. (NYSE: EQT) at the Riverview Center in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh.
 Equitable Gas Company is actively involved in the project and also is providing natural gas service to the installation.
 Several local civic and governmental officials attended the dedication, including Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff, U.S. Rep. John Martha (D-Johnstown), and Allegheny County Commissioner Larry Dunn.
 "The fuel cell is a significant leap forward in the technology of energy production, and combines the virtues of superior environmental performance, cost efficiency and fuel conservation," said Equitech President Jerry Ayres. "In essence, fuel cells operate by converting the chemical energy of natural gas directly into electricity and heat without the need for combustion. As a result, they are virtually emission-free and extremely quiet."
 Moreover, when fuel cells are used to "cogenerate" electricity and heat simultaneously, they convert more than 80 percent of their natural gas fuel into useful energy -- more than twice the efficiency level of a conventional power plant. Thus, they deliver more energy per dollar of fuel cost than any other commercial technology, and need less fuel for energy production.
 "Development of this ultra-clean and efficient energy source has been a prime objective of natural gas industry research. Equitable, which has been among the industry leaders in building markets for other new technologies such as natural gas powered vehicles and air-conditioning, is one of 10 natural gas industry companies across the country that will be demonstrating its benefits," said Equitable Gas President John Milantoni.
 The nationwide program calls for the placement of 22 units over the next two years. Equitable's Riverview installation is the first of two fuel cells the company will place in the Pittsburgh area; a second site is now under consideration.
 Each fuel cell is capable of generating 200 kilowatts, which is equivalent to the average monthly energy requirements of 200 homes. However, much higher outputs can be achieved by units now under development, or by linking individual cells together. This modularity offers several important and distinct advantages over central power plants: construction and planning times are shorter, and capacity additions can be more finely tuned to actual demand growth. From the perspective of the energy user, these can add up to significant economies.
 Besides producing energy on site or for distribution elsewhere, the fuel cell also is evolving into the ultimate emission-free power source for highway and railway vehicles.
 Riverview Center is a non-profit long term care facility. Operating since 1906, it offers daily services for over 370 residents. The fuel cell will offer Riverview reduced electric charges and lower overall energy costs.
 -0- 4/19/93
 /CONTACT: Mike Stack of Equitable Resources, 412-553-5808/
 (EQT)


CO: Equitech; Equitable Resources, Inc.; Equitable Gas ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI OIL SU: PDT

CD -- PG001 -- 7282 04/19/93 10:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 19, 1993
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