AEP purchases former Gast building in Bridgman to be used with Cook Nuclear Plant

BRIDGMAN, Mich., May 10, 2002 — American Electric Power (AEP) has purchased the former Gast Manufacturing Facility in Bridgman for use as a warehouse and office for the Cook Nuclear Plant.

The building will be converted into a full-service shipping and receiving facility over the next year, and will allow consolidation of four warehouses currently in use on the plant site and in St. Joseph.

The 143,000 square foot building sits on 13.8 acres at 9970 Red Arrow Highway. It was built in 1975 and expanded in 1983, 1993, and 1996. It includes seven semi-truck bays and security and fire suppression systems. The finished office area is 12,300 square feet and includes a conference room, training room, and first aid station. The purchase price was not disclosed.

“Consolidation of our warehouses should result in production efficiencies as well as cost savings,” said Chris Bakken, senior vice president – nuclear generation. “Good material management is a key to equipment reliability and safe, continuous operation.”

When conversion and upgrades to the facility are complete, all shipping and receiving for Cook will be handled at the new warehouse, located three miles from the plant. Fewer trucks will be required to pass through the enhanced security checkpoint at the plant property boundary, resulting in easier and safer access for employees. Additional improvements to purchasing and material tracking systems are planned to reduce total inventories, optimize material purchase and delivery, and improve parts availability for maintenance and repairs.

American Electric Power is a multinational energy company with a balanced portfolio of energy assets. AEP, the United States’ largest electricity generator, owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. and select international markets. AEP is a wholesale energy marketer, ranking among North America’s top providers of wholesale power and natural gas with a growing wholesale presence in European markets. In addition to electricity generation, AEP owns and operates natural gas pipeline systems, natural gas storage, coal mines, and the fourth-largest inland barge company in the U.S. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with almost 5 million customers linked to AEP’s wires. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.