FirstEnergy Buys Gas-Fueled Plant in Akron for $253.6M

Wed February 13, 2008 - Midwest Edition

AKRON, Ohio (AP) FirstEnergy Corp. said Jan. 29 it was the winning bidder in a bankruptcy auction for a partially completed natural gas-fueled generating plant in northern Ohio.

FirstEnergy is buying the plant in Fremont from Calpine Corp. for $253.6 million. The high bid exceeded the initially proposed sale price of $124 million.

Calpine, a San Jose, Calif.-based electricity producer, filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2005.

Richard R. Grigg, FirstEnergy executive vice president and chief operating officer, said the plant further diversifies the company’s generation mix and was attractive because of its potential for a low level of carbon-dioxide emissions.

Construction of the plant began in September 2001. In court documents, Calpine has indicated that the plant is about 70 percent complete and could take 12 to 18 months and approximately $150 million to become operational.

FirstEnergy operates seven electric companies that comprise the nation’s fifth largest investor-owned electric system in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

FirstEnergy shares were up 58 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $70.27 in afternoon trading Jan. 29.