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LINCOLN ELECTRIC SYSTEM, NEBRASKA UPGRADED TO 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Lincoln Electric System (LES), Nebraska's $247.2 million electric system revenue refunding bonds, 1993 series A are rated "AA" by Fitch. The rating on approximately $55.1 million outstanding electric system revenue (prior lien) bonds are upgraded to "AA" from "AA-". The credit trend is stable. The bonds are scheduled to sell through negotiation July 14 by a Goldman, Sachs & Co. syndicate.
 The rating upgrade reflects LES's diverse, low-cost generation mix, very competitive electric rates, and a solid, broad-based service area, all of which position LES very favorably in a more competitive utility environment. The core of LES's power resource mix is the Laramie River Station, one of the best performing, lowest cost coal-fired facilities in the nation. Together with several purchase power arrangements, existing baseload capacity should be sufficient to satisfy energy requirements beyond 2000, with additional peaking generation being required by 1997. Overall, LES's capital improvements through the forecast period are moderate, and only modest rate increases are required. Average retail electric rates are extremely low at around 5.0 cents per kilowatt-hour.
 While historical and projected debt service coverage is lower than similarly rated credits, LES's numerous positive attributes offset this factor. Also, while there is no energy adjustment clause to automatically pass through increased fuel costs, the LES system has not experienced wide fluctuations in energy prices.
 -0- 7/9/93
 /CONTACT: Susan M. Courtney, 212-908-0503 or Alan Spen, 212-908-0594, both of Fitch/


CO: Lincoln Electric System ST: New York IN: OIL SU: RTG

TM-MG -- NY077 -- 0091 07/09/93 17:38 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 9, 1993
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