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OHIO MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC AGENCY $158.7 MILLION BELLEVILLE CERTIFICATES RATED 'BBB+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Ohio Municipal Electric Generation Agency Joint Venture 5's (OMEGA JV5) $158.67 million 1993 beneficial interest certificates (Belleville Hydroelectric Project) are rated "BBB+" by Fitch. The credit trend is stable. The certificates are scheduled to sell through negotiation on June 2 by a Morgan Stanley & Co. syndicate.
 OMEGA JV5, a joint venture of 42 Ohio municipalities, is participating in the development and construction of the Belleville hydroelectric project, consisting of a 42-megawatt hydroelectric plant, transmission facilities, and backup generating sources. Credit strengths include generally good diversity among the largest participants, member electric rates well below the competition, strong legal protection, and depth in the management team. The project appears well designed, with debt service payments not completely dependent on successful operation of the hydroelectric facility. Bondholder risks consist of a heavy reliance by the members on shorter-term power purchases, an unusually high dependence on larger industrial customers at the retail level, and normal uncertainties associated with the construction of a new generating facility.
 The project is intended to help diversify the mix and duration of the members' power supply, while meeting additional growth of their customers. American Municipal Power-Ohio, Inc. (AMP-Ohio), a nonprofit wholesale power supplier to the member systems, will have responsibility for constructing and operating the project and incorporating it into the members' existing power sources through its dispatching capabilities. Presently, certain project contracts, transmission agreements, and power supply arrangements still need to be finalized. The cost of project power, while generally high in the early years, is expected to provide the members with a long-term, low-cost alternative to existing resource supply options.
 Project members are of satisfactory credit quality, with reasonable diversity among the largest systems. Located primarily in northern Ohio, JV5 participants' estimated 1992 population exceeded 219,000. Historical financial performance of the larger members is positive. Sales to industrial and commercial customers are significant, but no one industry dominates. Retail rates are generally much lower than in surrounding utilities, but pricing to larger industrial loads is competitive. In the future, rate differentials between members and other neighboring utilities will narrow, but should remain significantly in the participants' favor.
 -0- 5/27/93
 /CONTACT: Alan Spen, 212-908-0594, or Susan M. Courtney, 212-908-0503, both of Fitch/


CO: Ohio Municipal Electric Generation Agency Joint Venture 5 ST: Ohio IN: UTI SU: RTG

TS -- NY069 -- 3007 05/27/93 13:51 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 27, 1993
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