AEP, Sempra Energy Partners, Carlyle/Riverstone Announce Marine Development Center Lease Extension

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) today joined Sempra Energy Partners and Carlyle/Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund in announcing a 10-year lease extension for property and facilities at the Marine Development Center at the Barney M. Davis Power Station in Corpus Christi.

One of the largest marine fish hatcheries in the world, the center is a partnership of AEP Texas Central Co. (TCC, formerly known as Central Power and Light), the Coastal Conservation Association Texas (CCA Texas) and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). TPWD operates the facility.
AEP announced on March 15 an agreement to sell Barney M. Davis plant and other Texas Central Co. generating assets to a joint venture of Sempra Energy and Carlyle/Riverstone. The lease extension for the Marine Development Center was granted by AEP and will be assumed by the new owners, pending the closing of the generating asset sale transaction, which is expected by July 2004. CCA Texas pays a nominal annual fee for the lease.

“For our company and our employees at Barney Davis plant in particular, this has been a rewarding relationship since the project began in the 1980s,” said Charles Patton, president and chief operating officer for AEP’s operations in Texas. “We take great pride in the fact that the hatchery has played a vital role in bringing the red drum and spotted seatrout populations back to Texas coastal waters.”

Donald E. Felsinger, president and chief operating officer for Sempra Energy, said: “As a company that values responsible environmental stewardship, we look forward to working with the Coastal Conservation Association Texas and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as they produce important sport-fish species at this state-of-the-art facility.”

Michael Hoffman, managing director, Carlyle/Riverstone, said, “We are pleased to be part of this new partnership which will continue to bring many environmental benefits to the Texas coast.”

The agreement extends the lease 10 years to November 2015 for most of the land and facilities at the approximately 69-acre Marine Development Center on the grounds of the Barney M. Davis plant. The remaining land and facilities are covered under a separate long-term lease.

The Marine Development Center includes a visitors’ center in the Ben F. Vaughan Building, featuring several 3,000-gallon saltwater spawning tanks, plus an incubation room and rearing ponds for the red drum (also known as redfish) and spotted seatrout (or speckled trout) fingerlings. Information about the Marine Development Center can be found on the Web at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/management/hatcheries/ccacpl.phtml or http://www.ccatexas.org
AEP announced plans in December 2002 to sell all of the generation assets owned by TCC to determine their market value for calculating stranded costs under Texas electric restructuring legislation. A competitive bidding process for the assets began in June 2003. The purchase agreement with Sempra Energy and Carlyle/Riverstone includes Barney M. Davis and other natural gas, coal and hydro facilities.
Sempra Energy Partners, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, was formed in 2003 to team with financial and energy partners to acquire energy assets such as power plants, pipelines and related energy facilities.
Carlyle/Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund II, LP is a joint venture between Riverstone and The Carlyle Group that is focused on investing in the global energy and power sectors, utilizing private equity capital of over $1.2 billion. 
American Electric Power owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and select international markets and is the largest electricity generator in the U.S.  AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with more than 5 million customers linked to AEP’s 11-state electricity transmission and distribution grid.  The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.


Andy Heines
AEP Region Communications Manager

Peter Main
AEP Principal Communications Consultant

Art Larson
Sempra Energy
877-866-2066 (Toll Free 24-Hr. Newsline)

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