News Release
April 17, 2000

DUKE ENERGY INTERNATIONAL EXPANDS MERCHANT BUSINESS WITH ACQUISITION OF AUSTRALIAN POWER PROJECT

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA/HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Duke Energy International (DEI) announced today the acquisition of the Bairnsdale Power Plant project from Westcoast Energy Australia and Texas Utilities. The Bairnsdale project, currently under development, will provide needed power to the Victorian power market once it begins commercial operations in 2001.

"The Bairnsdale acquisition supports DEI’s strategy of building a market-driven integrated energy business in Australia and facilitates competition and industrial growth in the region," said DEI President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Williamson. "Duke Energy International has established a strong business in Australia and we shall continue to pursue greenfield development opportunities and acquisitions as we expand our merchant business. We are committed to being the market leader in Australia."

Once in operation, the 43-megawatt, natural gas-fired, simple-cycle plant will provide peaking capacity to enhance regional reliability of the Victorian power system, which is under pressure during high load conditions. Duke Energy Australia Trading and Marketing will market Bairnsdale power and arrange for gas supply to the facility. Gas supplied to Bairnsdale will be transported through DEI’s Eastern Gas Pipeline, a 500-mile (795 km) natural gas pipeline to be completed in time for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

"Bairnsdale is another total value added project for Duke Energy," said Williamson. "This project is no different than what we do today in North America, when Duke Energy North America develops a power plant or Duke Energy Gas Transmission builds a pipeline. At Bairnsdale, DEI will build and operate the power plant. Our trading company will arrange for gas supply and market the power. And, we shall transport the gas over a Duke Energy pipeline. This integrated approach allows us to leverage our skills to deliver superior service to our customers and enhanced earnings for our shareholders."

Duke Energy International (DEI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Duke Energy, is one of the world’s leading international energy companies offering energy trading and marketing, risk management, natural gas and power development expertise and operations services across Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. DEI’s Asia-Pacific energy portfolio includes approximately 985 miles (1,585 km) of natural gas pipeline in operation and under construction; 781 gross megawatts of thermal power generation; and energy trading and marketing located in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.

Duke Energy, a diversified multi-national energy company, creates value for customers and shareholders through an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. Duke Energy manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses -- generating revenues of nearly $22 billion in 1999. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: Jennifer Pierce
Phone: 713-627-5719
24 Hour Phone: 704-382-8333
Email: jmpierce@duke-energy.com