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MIDATLANTIC ENERGY REFUTES ALLEGHENY POWER COMPANY CLAIMS

 MIDATLANTIC ENERGY REFUTES ALLEGHENY POWER COMPANY CLAIMS
 CHARLESTON, W.Va., Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael Francis, president of MidAtlantic Energy Group Inc, today responded to claims recently made by Monongahela Power Company President Ben Hayes that the Allegheny Power System (NYSE: AYP) does not need power from the proposed Ohio River Co-Generation plant.
 Francis called the statement irresponsible and not in the best interests of ratepayers and the citizens of West Virginia.
 "The recent remarks by officials of Monongahela Power Company and Potomac Edison Company reflect their fear of legitimate competition, a fear which persists throughout the entire Allegheny Power System. Those of us that understand the indepedent power industry are confident that healthy competition in power generation will benefit all ratepayers and citizens everywhere, particularly in the State of West Virginia. If the Allegheny Power System companies are correct in their assertions regarding their need for power, they should experience no difficulty in making their case before the Public Service Commission (PSC) of West Virginia. After all, it will be the PSC -- not Allegheny Power -- not MidAtlantic, which will establish the rates for project electric power. The public should understand that the power from the Marshall County facility will, by law, cost no more than which Potomac Edison would be allowed to charge if they build the capacity they have already planned. Monongahela's statements are even more confounding since that utility will not be involved in the final purchase of the power project. The power will be sold to Potomac Edison. It is obvious to us that a corporate decision has been made by APS in New York to have the president of Monongahela Power and his employees deflect public attention from the real issues concerning the project. Allegheny Power System certainly has no desire to have the public become aware of their desire to have only West Virginia customers of Potomac Edison pay the entire cost of the project rather than adopting the MidAtlantic view that the cost should be fairly spread over the entire three-state Potomac system. Neither do they want the public to focus on the fact that their proposed plants will burn expensive fuels, not West Virginia coal, and will be located out of state. We believe that this is inappropriate and wrong, and we are certain that the West Virginia PSC will not allow this to happen. We enthusiastically invite any interested person or group to examine the record already established at the PSC to determine who is telling the truth," said Francis.
 MidAtlantic Energy and Destec Energy have proposed a 230-megawatt coal gasification combined cycle facility to be located in Marshall County, W.Va. The power is to be sold to Potomac Edison to help them fill their need for power. The plant is scheduled to begin operation in early 1997 and will utilize local high sulfur coal. The coal gasification combined cycle technology produces power in an environmentally acceptable manner and at a competitive price.
 Francis further stated, "I really believe this process and this facility represent the future for West Virginia energy resources and we will simply not allow the utility's fears of competition and their arrogance on this issue to stand in our way. Responsible people and leaders in this state will not permit the Allegheny Power System in New York to dictate our future."
 Hearings are scheduled in Martinsburg, W.Va., on Sept. 30 and in Moundsville, W.Va., on Oct. 8 to receive public comment.
 -0- 9/28/92
 /CONTACT: Dick Northup, spokesman for MidAtlantic, 304-342-0161/
 (AYP) CO: MidAtlantic Energy Group Inc; Monongahela Power Company;
 Allegheny Power System; Potomac Edison Company ST: West Virginia IN: UTI OIL SU:


DM-CC -- PG008 -- 4125 09/28/92 17:38 EDT
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Date:Sep 28, 1992
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