News Release
Dec. 17, 1998

DUKE ENERGY TO BUY BHP POWER BUSINESS

Duke Energy International, LLC (DEI) the international development and asset management arm of Duke Energy Corporation, continues to build its growing business in Australia and the Pacific Rim by acquiring Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited’s power business (BHP Power) for $315 million.

The purchase will establish DEI as a significant industrial energy facility operator in the emerging competitive Australian electricity market.

The BHP Power acquisition includes a total capacity of almost 400 megawatts of power generation and transmission assets in Western Australia and New Zealand; an 11.8 percent interest in the 600-mile Goldfields Gas Transmission Pipeline in Western Australia; a development proposal for a co-generation plant at BHP’s Port Kembla operations; and a portfolio of international and Australian-based projects that are subject to the approval of BHP’s joint venture partners. The transaction is expected to close in early 1999.

"This purchase supports DEI’s overall strategy to become a truly integrated energy company in Australia, as we are in other parts of the world," said Bruce Williamson, DEI’s president and chief executive officer. "Importantly, the purchase of these power generation assets establishes a strong strategic relationship with BHP for the provision of energy requirements for a number of projects worldwide.

"The power generation assets provide a solid foundation for the continuing development of DEI’s integrated energy operations in Australia," Williamson said.

DEI entered the Australian energy market this year with the purchase of the Queensland Gas Pipeline and the selection by the Tasmanian Government to study the prospects of bringing natural gas to the state.

BHP is an international resources company with interests in oil and gas; steelmaking and steel products; and a range of minerals including iron ore, coal, copper, manganese, titanium minerals, platinum, silver, lead, zinc and diamonds. It also operates specialist service businesses in transportation and logistics, engineering and technology.

Duke Energy International develops, owns and operates energy projects worldwide. Its capabilities include natural gas exploration, production, processing, transportation and supply, and generation, delivery and marketing of electric power and thermal energy.

DEI is a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK), a global company based in Charlotte, N.C., with more than $26 billion in assets. Duke Energy companies provide electric service to approximately 2 million customers; operate pipelines that deliver 12 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States; and are leading marketers of electricity, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Globally, the companies develop, own and operate energy facilities and provide engineering, management, operating and environmental services. Contact Duke Energy on the World Wide Web at http://www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: Danny Gibbs
Phone: 704 373-6680
24 Hour Phone: 704 382-8333
Email: dpgibbs@duke-energy.com