Vermont nuclear war escalates

29 January 2001

Entergy has offered to pay $50 million for the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, more than double the purchase price under AmerGen Energy’s initial $23.7 million purchase agreement.

The Vermont Public Service Board (VPSB) recently reopened bidding for the 510MW BWR so it could review the Entergy offer. The VPSB may also allow other interested parties to submit bids.

AmerGen initially bid $23.7 million for the plant, but recently upped the offer to $93.8 million after the VPSB indicated its dissatisfaction with the price. AmerGen’s revised bid, however, assumed the deal would close 1 January 2001, and contained a clause reducing its value by $90,000 a day until actual closing. Following Entergy’s bid the VPSB has rejected the AmerGen offer.

To sweeten its offer, Entergy also said it would double AmerGen's offer to pay each non-union plant employee a $1,000 bonus. In addition, Entergy has offered a second, substantially better proposal if Vermont Yankee owners select Entergy as the preferred buyer to enter into an exclusive negotiating period of 60 days. Entergy claims that such a selection would save the owners considerable costs in auction fees.

Entergy’s bid – its second for the unit – expires at the end of 2001.

If Entergy is ultimately successful and the deal closes, Vermont Yankee would be the fifth operating northeastern nuclear power plant the New Orleans, Louisiana-based company has purchased. In 1999, Entergy bought the 669MW Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts. In 2000, Entergy bought the 970MW Indian Point 3 and 832MW FitzPatrick in New York. In November 2000, Entergy agreed to buy Indian Point 2 in New York plus the shutdown Indian Point 1.

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