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POWERCO ASSUMES OWNERSHIP OF GUEMES POWER STATION

POWERCO ASSUMES OWNERSHIP OF GUEMES POWER STATION
 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Powerco SA today officially assumed its responsibilities as the majority owner of the Central Termica Guemes Power Station located in the Salta Province of Argentina. The announcement follows an order issued September 28 by the President of Argentina officially approving the purchase of the plant by Powerco.
 September 11, Powerco's $86 million bid to acquire an interest in Central Termica Guemes SA, the Argentine electric public-utility company, was selected by Agua y Energia Electrica Sociedad Del Estado (AyEE), the state-owned utility. Powerco will own 60 percent of the stock of Central Termica Guemes, with the Argentine government maintaining a 30 percent ownership and plant employees offered a 10 percent ownership share. Powerco's bid includes $10 million to be paid in cash, $76 million in government debt obligations, and guarantees which aggregate to $56 million.
 Powerco is an international consortium that includes Duke Guemes, a special-purpose affiliate of Duke Energy Corp., an independent power producer headquartered in the United States; Sociedad Comercial del Plata SA, a large Argentine industrial firm; Iberdrola I SA, the largest investor-owned utility in Spain; The Argentine Investment Company, a fund created by Merrill Lynch for investing in Argentine privatizations; and TCW Americas Development Association, a fund created by Dean Witter Reynolds for investment in infrastructure throughout Latin America.
 Powerco Services SA will operate the facility under contract with Central Termica Guemes. Powerco Services is a consortium that includes Duke Guemes, a special-purpose affiliate of Duke Engineering & Services, Inc.; Comercial del Plata; and Iberdrola. Duke will be the lead operator for the plant.
 The Guemes Power Station is a 245-megawatt gas-fired plant. The first two units (60 megawatts each) were completed on 1983. A third (125-megawatt) unit was completed in 1986 and is expected to begin operation in 1992.
 "Powerco brings together companies with extensive experience and strong track records necessary to successfully manage and operate the power station. Our commitment is for the long-term; we look forward to developing positive relationships in Argentina with the Guemes plant employees and the Salta community," Steven E. Eckert, vice president, Duke Energy, said.
 -0- 09/30/92
 CONTACT: Anne Sheffield of Duke Energy Corp., 704-373-5054 or (home) 704-372-6859
 (DUK) CO: POWERCO SA; DUKE ENERGY CORP. IN: UTI ST: NC -- CH005 -- X728 09/30/92
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 30, 1992
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