Amergen took ownership of the Oyster Creek station in New Jersey on 9 August. The transfer marked completion of an acquisition that was first announced in September 1999.

The sale of the 670MWe BWR by GPU Energy was approved by the New Jersey State Board of Public Utilities.

GPU had said that it would shut the plant down if it failed to find a buyer. Amergen, the 50/50 joint venture between British Energy and PECO Energy is now likely to operate the plant at least until 2009, when its operating licence is due to expire. Amergen has made no statement about whether it will seek licence extension.

The plant was valued at $10 million. Under the terms of the purchase, GPU will buy all of the electricity generated by the plant until 31 March 2003. GPU will also fund all the outage costs, including the reload fuel, for the next refuelling, which is planned for autumn this year. Amergen will repay the estimated $85 million cost of the outage in nine equal instalments, to be made on the anniversary dates of the purchase.

Amergen will also assume responsibility for carrying out decommissioning of the plant. GPU will fund the decommissioning through its trust fund, which totals $439 million.