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GRANT COUNTY (WA) PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT SECOND SERIES BONDS 'AA-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 GRANT COUNTY (WA) PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT
 SECOND SERIES BONDS 'AA-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Grant County (WA) Public Utility District's proposed $48.6 million Priest Rapids Hydroelectric Development Second Series Revenue Bonds, 1992A and 1992B, and $74.8 million Wanapum Hydroelectric Development Second Series Revenue Bonds, 1992A and 1992B are rated 'AA-' by Fitch. The bonds are to be sold by negotiation the week of Oct. 12, 1992, with an underwriting team led by Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co.
 The 'AA-' rating is affirmed on the district's $64.7 million outstanding parity Priest Rapids Development Second Series Revenue Bonds and $49.7 million outstanding parity Wanapum Development Second Series Revenue Bonds. Fitch also affirms its 'AA' ratings on the district's $33.4 million Columbia River-Priest Rapids Hydro-Electric Production System Revenue Bonds, Series of 1956 and $73.7 million Wanapum Hydroelectric Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series of 1963, which have a senior lien claim on Priest Rapids and Wanapum revenues, respectively. The $32.1 million Electric System Revenue Refunding Bonds are affirmed at 'AA-'. The credit trend is stable.
 The high grade ratings reflect the district's exceptionally low cost power, ample transmission access, strong and experienced management, and the above average financial condition of the hydroelectric developments and electric system. Strong cash flows and manageable capital improvement needs are other positive factors. Electric system debt service coverage is expected to remain comfortably above the 2.00 times(x) level while Priest Rapids and Wanapum rates are set to provide 1.15x coverage.
 Also factored into the ratings is the unpredictability of stream flows and costs related to compliance with provisions of the Endangered Species Act. Financial forecasts assume significant rate increases to take into account revenue requirements for known costs associated with these issues and higher cost power purchased from the Bonneville Power Administration. While expiration of the current Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license for the Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams in 2005 raises some uncertainty, the district believes prospects for renewal are quite good.
 -0- 10/9/92
 /CONTACT: Rebecca Bachman, 212-908-0516, or Alan Spen, 212-908-0594, both of Fitch/ CO: Grant County Public Utility District ST: Washington IN: UTI SU: RTG


SH -- NY058 -- 8424 10/09/92 14:46 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 9, 1992
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