News Release
Feb. 24, 1998

DUKE ENERGY ACQUIRES STAKEIN ECUADOR POWER COMPANY

Duke Energy International, LLC (DEI), a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corporation, today announced a $45 million investment in Electroquil, SA, an electric power generating company located in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

DEI has acquired a 51.5 percent controlling interest in the company. The remaining 48.5 percent will be owned by members of the Guayaquil Chamber of Industries, Commerce, Construction and Small Business, plus other shareholders.

"The energy market in Ecuador offers strong, strategic investment opportunities for integrated energy companies such as Duke Energy International," said Bruce A. Williamson, president, Duke Energy International. "We will work closely with our shareholders in Electroquil to meet local consumers’ need for reliable, efficient and low-cost energy. Duke Energy International, together with its local shareholders in Electroquil, expects to pursue future investment opportunities aggressively to develop energy resources and related infrastructure that serve Ecuador’s growing energy demand."

Electroquil, SA was formed in 1991 by the Guayaquil Chamber of Industries to provide electricity to local industrial and commercial consumers. Electroquil owns and operates a four-unit 168-megawatt diesel-fired power plant, which began commercial operation in 1995. The facility’s electrical output is purchased by Inecel, Ecuador’s state electric utility, under long-term power purchase agreements.

"Electroquil’s alliance with Duke Energy brings to Electroquil and Ecuador the technical, commercial and financial skills for growth and development," said Oscar Orrantia, chairman of the Guayaquil Chamber of Industries. "With Duke Energy, we can develop new, low-cost and reliable energy supplies for Ecuador and ultimately help our industries expand and compete in the global marketplace."

DEI 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 Corporation (NYSE:DUK), a global energy company based in Charlotte, N.C., with $20 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.

The Guayaquil Chamber of Industries, Commerce, Construction and Small Business is comprised of commercial and industrial companies that serve domestic and international markets.

Contact: randy wheeless
Phone: 704 382-8379
24 Hour Phone: 704 382-8333
Email: crwheele@duke-energy.com