TECO Energy receives final $98 million cash installment from coalbed methane sale

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 5, 2003 -- TECO Energy Inc. Wednesday reported that its TECO Coalbed Methane subsidiary has completed the sale of its coalbed methane gas-producing assets in Alabama and received the second installment of the cash proceeds of $98 million. The completion of the sale, initially announced in December, was subject to the validation of bonds issued by the purchaser, which occurred on Jan. 21, 2003.

Chairman and CEO Robert Fagan said, "This closing represents another step in the cash generation plan we announced last September. We now have accounted for more than 70 percent of the $900 million targeted under the plan. The 2002 and 2003 plan was designed to enable TECO Energy to fund the construction the Bayside repowering project at Tampa Electric, to fund the tail-end of the construction of the Union and Gila River power stations at TECO Power Services and to generate the cash necessary to support our dividend payments to our shareholders."

"Last week we announced our dividend of $0.355 per share, payable February 15. Investors should take note that we have demonstrated our ability to execute our plan and pay our dividend while maintaining our strong cash position, thus far. In addition, we are progressing on the final two major components of our plan, the sale of Tampa Electric's gasifier at the Polk Station and the sale of a portion of our interests in the synthetic fuel production facilities at TECO Coal," Fagan added.

In addition to the $140 million in cash from the sale of the TECO Coalbed Methane assets, the major achievements under the plan include:

* Raising $207 million in common equity;
* Reducing capital expenditures by an additional $250 million; and
* Securing $55 million of repatriated cash and cash from non-recourse refinancing on the Guatemalan generating assets.

TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE - News) is a diversified, energy-related holding company based in Tampa. Its principal businesses are Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas, TECO Power Services, TECO Transport, TECO Coal and TECO Solutions.

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