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TECO Power Services, Panda Energy select EPC contractor for Gila River Power Station

TAMPA, Fla., and DALLAS, March 1, 2001 (PRNewswire) — TECO Power Services and Panda Energy International today announced the selection of NEPCO as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the 2,200- megawatt Gila River power station in Gila Bend, Arizona. The project is scheduled to begin full commercial operation in the summer of 2003.

The Gila River project is being developed as a joint venture between TPS and Panda. The plant will be natural gas-fueled and will utilize highly efficient GE 7F technology. The facility is expected to sell energy to wholesale electric customers throughout Arizona. Excess energy can be sold to wholesale customers in Southern California, Nevada and New Mexico.

NEPCO was selected after a competitive bidding process. The EPC contractor oversees engineering and construction. They manage all facets through commercial operation.

Panda Energy President Todd Carter said, “We subjected NEPCO to a very extensive review and evaluation process to select them as our EPC contractor for the Gila River project. We considered several proposals, and NEPCO came out on top in all of our evaluation categories. We have the utmost confidence in their ability to execute this project and look forward to working with them.”

TPS President Rick Ludwig said, “We have worked with NEPCO very successfully on other power projects, and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to work with them again. They have a strong reputation in the industry, and we’re confident they can get Gila River operational on time and on budget.”

The announcement of NEPCO’s selection as EPC contractor for Gila River follows the company’s recent successful bid to serve as the EPC contractor for the 2,200-megawatt El Dorado, Arkansas, facility, another TPS/Panda Energy joint venture project. It is believed that together these are the largest EPC contracts ever signed for independent power plants.

TECO Power Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of TECO Energy (NYSE: TE – news), a diversified, energy-related holding company headquartered in Tampa. Other TECO Energy businesses include Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas System, TECO Transport, TECO Coal, TECO Coalbed Methane, TECO Propane Ventures and TECO Solutions. TPS builds, owns and operates electric generation facilities in high-growth areas of North America. Domestically, recently announced projects call for TPS to serve customers in 18 states, spanning the southern half of the United States. TECO Energy as a whole has ownership interests in more than 11,000 megawatts, operating or under development worldwide.

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Panda Energy International, Inc. is a privately held, non-regulated electric generation company whose primary focus is the development, ownership and operation of state-of-the-art, environmentally clean, low-cost power plants. The company currently operates plants in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, Brandywine, Maryland, and it owns a 50 percent interest in a 1,000-megawatt plant in Guadalupe County, Texas. Panda also has plants under construction in China and Nepal and is the developer and a partner in three merchant plants presently being constructed in the United States. By spring 2001, Panda will have developed 9,000 megawatts that are either under construction or in commercial operation. Panda also has 10,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity currently in advanced development and an additional 6,500 megawatts in the early stages of development.

NEPCO is an ISO 9001-certified, full-service engineering and construction company with over 60 years of experience in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of high-efficiency, combustion turbine, simple and combined cycle, cogeneration plants, as well as conventional and waste-fueled power generating facilities. NEPCO provides a full spectrum of services to its clients in North America and select international markets. These services include project development support, engineering, procurement services, construction management, construction and plant startup and commissioning.

For more information visit online: www.tecopowerservices.com, www.pandaenergy.com, and www.nepco.com.