Duke Energy, NCEMC To Buy Out Nuke Plant Partner

Raleigh-based N.C. Electric Membership Corporation will own 38 percent of S.C. facility.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Duke Energy and the Raleigh-based North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation are buying the ownership interest they don’t already own in unit one of the Catawba Nuclear Station.

Duke Energy and the NCEMC will spend $200 million to buy out Saluda River Electric Cooperative.

Duke will invest $158 million to increase its ownership of the plant to 62 percent from 56 percent. NCEMC’s ownership will increase to 38 percent from 25 percent for $42 million.

"This transaction provides significant benefits to our customers in the Carolinas," said Duke Energy Carolinas President Ellen Ruff in a statement. "We're obtaining low-cost and emission-free generation from one of the top performing plants in the country at a price well below new build costs."

Richard Thomas, president of the NCEMC, called the plant “our most cost-effective source of electricity.”

The deal is subject to federal and state regulatory approval and isn’t expected to close until mid-2008.

The Catawba Nuclear Station includes two units and is located in York County, S.C.

The second unit is owned by the North Carolina Municipal Power Agency and Piedmont Municipal Power Agency.

The NCEMC represents 26 of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives.

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