BISMARCK, N.D., Feb. 5, 2002 -- Dick Vinson and Centennial Power, Inc., a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, Inc., announced today the acquisition by Centennial Power of Rocky Mountain Power, Inc., a Montana energy development company co-owned by Vinson.
The acquisition of Rocky Mountain Power enables Centennial Power to construct a 113-megawatt, coal-fired electric generation facility near Hardin, Montana. The plant will provide electricity to Montana Power Company (MPC) through a long-term power purchase agreement. Financial details were not disclosed.
"Centennial Power was organized at MDU Resources in 2001 to enter the independent power production marketplace," said Paul Gatzemeier, Centennial Power's vice president and general manager. "As this is our first generation project, it is fitting that it will be located in Montana. We believe this project is beneficial for everyone concerned - MPC customers, the community of Hardin, shareholders of MDU Resources and Rocky Mountain Power."
"I'm very pleased to have reached an agreement with Centennial Power and MDU Resources," said Vinson. "MDU Resources, through its various companies has operated in Montana for more than 75 years, has a strong environmental track record and is a company Montanans know well. This is great news for the Hardin area. I will continue to be actively involved with the project to help bring it through construction. Centennial's expertise and financial commitment to the power project will allow me to focus on the ethanol project that I have in development."
Construction is planned to begin immediately following the issuance of an air quality permit, which is expected this spring. Centennial Power anticipates commercial operation in 2003. The plant will employ 33 permanent, full-time workers.
MDU Resources Group, Inc. provides energy, value-added natural resource products and related services that are essential to our country's energy, transportation and communications infrastructure. MDU Resources includes electric and natural gas utilities, a natural gas pipeline, utility services, natural gas and oil production, construction materials and mining and energy services. For more information about MDU Resources, see the company's Web site at www.mdu.com.