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MONTANA POWER SELECTS THOMPSON FALLS FOR FUTURE RESOURCE

 THOMPSON FALLS, Mont., April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Montana Power Co. (MPC) (NYSE: MTP) announced today it will make a 50-megawatt (mw) addition to its hydroelectric development at Thompson Falls on the Clark Fork of the Columbia River in northwest Montana. The total estimated cost of the project, with company and related construction expenses, is $51.5 million.
 MPC has selected through competitive bids a joint venture of Stone and Webster (NYSE: SW), an architecture and engineering firm based in Boston, and Kiewit Co., a well-known construction company of Omaha, Neb., to build the new $28-million power house and associated facilities. Kvaerner of Sweden will supply the $15.3-million single turbine/generator.
 The project is one of Montana Power's most preferred selections for future, low-cost resources as identified in the utility's 1993 integrated least cost resource plan (IRP). The plan includes the results of a 1991 Request For Proposals (RFP) seeking additional electric supplies to meet future needs, including the loss of 150 mw from expiring bulk power purchases. The process was subject to public review and comment.
 "Montana Power's IRP identifies five 'most preferred' resources to meet its future power needs," said Bob Gannon, MPC's utility president and chief operating officer. "The five include RFP bids as well as the company's own supply options," he added. "They were selected when all available resources were evaluated on an integrated resource planning basis, including RFP finalists."
 The preferred five are in advanced stages of analysis and negotiation.
 In addition to Thompson Falls, the other four resources are a 50-mw plus seasonal exchange with Idaho Power; a 98-mw winter purchase from Basin Electric Power Cooperative; the utility's Efficiency Plus demand side management programs (116 mw by 2001); and the repowering of the utility's 60-mw, gas-fired F.W. Bird Plant in Billings, Mont. The Bird plant could be developed either by an outside party or by Montana Power.
 "Two additional categories complete MPC's short list of future power supplies," Gannon said. "Option resources available if the need arises, and those resources that remain on the short list but are in limited negotiation status. All are located in Montana."
 Option resources consist of a 15-mw cogeneration steam turbine for Stone Container Corp.'s paper plant at Missoula and a 40-mw hydroelectric upgrade for MPC's Ryan Dam at Great Falls. Negotiations with Stone are proceeding for this resource.
 Still on the short list but in limited negotiation are a 5-mw hydropower addition for the Tiber Dam southeast of Shelby, a 38-mw, gas-fired combustion turbine for Stone Container's Missoula plant, and a 92-mw combined cycle gas-fired turbine project sponsored by Westmoreland Resources near Hardin.
 "With the announcement of the Thompson Falls project, we are signaling the winding down of our competitive bid process to acquire future power needs," Gannon said. "We will continue to update our IRP and announce additional resource acquisitions as analysis and negotiations are completed, he added.
 -0- 4/28/93
 /CONTACT: Cort Freeman of Montana Power, 406-496-5068, or fax, 406-496-5099/
 (MTP SW)


CO: Montana Power Co.; Stone and Webster; Kiewit Co. ST: Montana IN: UTI SU:

SW-LM -- SE010 -- 2322 04/28/93 17:53 EDT
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Date:Apr 28, 1993
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