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JAMAICA PRIVATE POWER COMPANY ANNOUNCES PROJECT SELECTION AWARD

 SYRACUSE, N.Y., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Martin Buckley, vice president for corporate development of HYDRA-CO Enterprises, Inc., announced that the Jamaica Private Power Company had been selected to negotiate final contracts to build, own and operate a 60 MW slow-speed, oil-fired power station in Kingston, Jamaica.
 The selection was made by Jamaica Public Service Company, Ltd., and resulted from a competitive bid process managed by the Jamaican Ministry of Public Utilities and Energy with assistance from the World Bank and the InterAmerican Development Bank. Jamaica Private Power Company is a joint venture of HYDRA-CO Enterprises, Inc. of Syracuse, N.Y. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation), International Energy Finance Ltd. of Bethesda, Md. ("IEF") and U.S. Energy Corporation of Washington, D.C.
 In announcing the project selection award, Buckley stated, "HYDRA-CO and our partners at U.S. Energy and IEF are delighted with our selection announced today in Kingston. Jamaica has been a leader in the establishment of an orderly contracting process for private power projects. We expect rapid completion of all project contracts, and we look forward to a financial closing this year."
 Jamaica Private Power Company's partners have been working together in Jamaica for nearly two years, and have two other projects under development in that country, including a 35 MW biomass project located at a sugar mill, and a 60 MW coal project located near Kingston Harbor. The three partners first came together to develop the biomass project, which originated from a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Jamaica and International Energy Finance.
 IEF Chairman Tom Hoffman said today: "Jamaica may be typical of many developing countries where project financings are a challenge. We have been able to tap into numerous sources of international debt and equity to make the financing available for the oil project awarded today, as well for the biomass project which we also hope to bring to a financial closing. Financing these projects is a jigsaw puzzle, but we believe we will be able to put all the pieces together."
 Jamaica had previously announced the establishment of an Energy Loan Fund, to be set up with funding provided by the World Bank and InterAmerican Development Bank, to enable lenders in Jamaica to on-lend a portion of the financing needed for power projects in Jamaica. The World Bank in particular has been active in many developing countries, encouraging the privatization of electric power and helping to establish the necessary resources.
 U.S. Energy Corporation President, Randy Phelps, said today: "The presence of the World Bank and the IDB in Jamaica has been very constructive. They advised the Government on the preparation of a draft Power Purchase Agreement and related documents. Although these documents may still need work to meet project finance terms, they are much closer to realism than what many U.S. developers are encountering in other countries. We are optimistic about a rapid negotiation of final project agreements."
 HYDRA-CO was one of the first deregulated project development subsidiaries of a major electric utility in the United States, formed in 1981 by Niagara Mohawk. HYDRA-CO has developed and helped finance 24 projects to date, representing roughly $1.2 billion of energy-producing assets.
 U.S. Energy Corporation has concentrated on mid-sized domestic cogeneration power projects, and has achieved widespread recognition for its biomass-fired projects in Maine and North Carolina.
 International Energy Finance is a merchant bank that participates in project development, and sources debt and equity financing for overseas projects in partnership with domestic developers.
 -0- 1/7/93
 /CONTACT: Ron Hosie, project development manager, HYDRA-CO Enterprises, Inc., 315-471-2881, ext. 136, or by fax, 315-471-2411; or Richard Germain, business development manager, International Energy Finance Ltd., 301-907-6877, or by fax, 301-907-6547/


CO: HYDRA-CO Enterprises, Inc.; Jamaica Private Power Co. ST: IN: UTI SU: CON

KK -- CL013 -- 2708 01/07/93 13:31 EST
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Date:Jan 7, 1993
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