News Release
March 07, 2000


HOUSTON -- Duke Energy North America (DENA), a leading provider of wholesale energy, announced today its plans to build and operate a 500-megawatt (MW) merchant power project located in north Jackson, which is in Hinds County, Mississippi. Construction will begin immediately. DENA currently has nine sites under construction across the United States.

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.

"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."

"Duke Energy and the city of Jackson have worked together to make this project a reality for this community," said Jackson mayor, Harvey Johnson, Jr. "The Jackson site will sell wholesale power on a competitive basis to utilities and power marketing companies, thus adding diversity to our economy and truly making us the Best of the New South," added Mayor Johnson.

"Duke Energy has worked closely with our community during the entire siting process for the Hinds County facility," said Doug Anderson, president of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors. "We are excited about the expertise that the Duke Energy team brings to our area, as well as their outstanding safety, environmental and community commitment record."

The Jackson facility will take approximately 18 months to construct and should be in operation by the summer of 2001. 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:

Contact: Rick Rhodes
Phone: 704-382-3747
24 Hour Phone: 704-382-8333