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WEST PENN POWER $188 MILLION FIRST MORTGAGE BONDS RATED 'A+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- West Penn Power Co.'s $102 million 5-1/2 percent first mortgage bonds due 1998 and 6-3/8 percent $80 million first mortgage bonds due 2003 are rated "A+" by Fitch. The credit trend is improving.
 The rating reflects the company's sound credit fundamentals, low cost structure, parent company (Allegheny Power System, Inc.) financial and operating support, and constructive regulatory treatment of Clean Air Act (CAA) capital costs. The improving trend reflects strengthening measures of bondholder protection expected as a result of a recent rate increase. Proceeds will refund $177 million first mortgage bonds.
 The Pennsylvania Commission, which regulates 98 percent of West Penn's revenue, authorized a $61.6 million rate increase based on an 11.5 percent return on equity compared to the company's request for an $86 million rate increase based on a 12.9 percent return on equity. About $27 million of the increase is related to recovery of Clean Air Act carrying costs through June 1993. The company expects to file for another rate increase in late 1993 to reflect the portion of Clean Air- related expenses not already in rates.
 Allegheny Power is complying with 1990 CAA Phase 1 requirements by building three scrubbers at its mine-mouth Harrison plant for $726.6 million, including AFUDC. West Penn's share is $311.1 million. The Harrison scrubbers should be operational by fourth quarter 1994.
 -0- 6/2/93
 /CONTACT: Josephine Zeppieri of Fitch, 212-908-0575/
 (AYP)


CO: West Penn Power Co. ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU: RTG

GK -- NY061 -- 4519 06/02/93 13:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 2, 1993
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