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FERC approves NW natural purchase of Portland General Electric

PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 13, 2002 — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today gave its approval to Northwest Natural Gas Company’s, dba NW Natural, acquisition of Portland General Electric (PGE) from Enron Corp.

NW Natural agreed to purchase PGE from Enron Corp. on October 8, 2001, for $1.8 billion in cash and equity.

In its approval order, FERC said it “will authorize the disposition of facilities as consistent with the public interest.” The order also stated: “Applicants have shown that the combination of NW Natural’s natural gas assets and PGE electric generation facilities will not harm competition.”

NW Natural also said today that clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act has been received from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. No further action on the part of those federal agencies is required.

NW Natural also has filed applications with the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC), the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeking approval of the PGE acquisition. Decisions by these federal and state agencies are still pending.

NW Natural is Oregon’s largest natural gas distribution company with more than 530,000 gas customers in Oregon and southwest Washington. Adding PGE’s 730,000 electric customers, the new combined gas-electric utility would serve more than 1.2 million customers.