News Release
March 07, 2000

DUKE ENERGY NORTH AMERICA ANNOUNCES INTENTIONS TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION AT ATTALA COUNTY SITE

HOUSTON -- Duke Energy North America (DENA), a leading provider of wholesale energy, announced today its plans to begin construction on a 500-megawatt (MW) merchant power project in Attala County, Mississippi. Construction is slated to begin this spring.

The proposed $170 million natural gas-fueled plant would help meet rapidly growing electricity needs in Mississippi. It is estimated that over the next decade the Southeast Reliability Council (SERC), which includes Mississippi, will require an additional 40,000 MWs of generating capacity to meet demand growth.

Over the last several months, DENA has completed their assessment of the site located near McAdams. This evaluation included a study of the environmental and engineering elements of the site, as well as gaining input on the project from community members and regulators.

"Mississippi is an area that Duke Energy finds very attractive for wholesale electricity generation," said Jim Donnell, president and chief executive officer of DENA. "This is a region of tremendous economic growth – growth that will need reliable, environmentally friendly and competitively priced electricity for sustainable development. We are delighted with the partnership we have formed with both the community leaders of Jackson and Hinds County and are excited about being part of their continued success," Donnell added.

"Duke Energy has demonstrated a willingness to work closely with Attala County during our interactions with their project team," said Wade Shumaker, president of the Attala County Board of Supervisors. "Duke Energy is known across the nation as one of the top developers of wholesale electricity generating stations and brings to Attala an impressive safety and environmental record, as well as a strong commitment to communities where they do business."

The proposed facility could be operational by the summer of 2001. The Attala project will take approximately 18 months to construct. During plant construction, the workforce will average around 150 employees with an expected peak of 300. Once completed, the facility would employ 20 to 25 full-time employees.

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: Rick Rhodes
Phone: 704-382-3747
24 Hour Phone: 704-382-8333
Email: jrrhodes@duke-energy.com