Entergy looks to double nukes

8 January 1999

Entergy Nuclear may be looking to double its portfolio of commercial nuclear power plants. The company currently owns and operates four nuclear power plants. In addition, Entergy agreed in November 1998 to buy Boston Edison’s Pilgrim nuclear station in Massachusetts, which would be the company’s fifth nuclear plant, for $80 million.

According to Dan Ford, an analyst with HSBC Securities, Entergy’s management intends to own or operate a portfolio of up to five additional nuclear plants by 2002.

One plant Entergy is pursuing is the 950-MWe Clinton nuclear plant, currently owned by Illinois Power, a unit of Illinova Corp. Illinois Power’s only nuclear unit, Clinton has been off line since September 1996.

Illinois Power has decided that it will either sell Clinton or shut it down. PECO Energy, which is managing the station for Illinois Power, is widely considered the front-runner, but Entergy reportedly has made a strong bid.

Any buyer is likely to get Clinton at a bargain-basement price, industry observers say. The purchase price is expected to be far less than Clinton’s $1.6 billion book value.

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