News Release
Sept. 12, 2000


NEW YORK – Rising demand for natural gas – spurred by increased electric generation – is positioning Duke Energy to be a winner in today’s new energy market, Richard B. Priory, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Duke Energy, said today.

Priory offered that optimistic assessment at the Merrill Lynch Power & Gas Leaders Conference and backed it up with an array of statistics on increased electric and natural gas usage worldwide.

Nationwide, natural gas use is expected to increase 30 percent by the end of the decade – driven by the fact that about 90 percent of new electric generation in the United States will use natural gas. Advances in gas-fired technology and the environmental benefits of the fuel have made it the No. 1 choice for new generation.

"Merchant generation projects are being developed across the nation … and a large number of those planned are siting near our pipelines," said Priory.

Duke Energy is not only responsible for bringing on new gas-fired electric generation, but is also helping increase new pipeline capacity across the United States. It is a partner in the Buccaneer Gas Pipeline – a 674-mile project that will extend across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida. The company also recently completed its acquisition of Eastern Tennessee Natural Gas Company and interconnected that system with Duke Energy’s Texas Eastern system.

With North America needing an additional 200,000 megawatts of power generation over the next 12 years, Duke Energy led the nation by bringing online four merchant power plants this summer. Duke Energy North America (DENA), the company's merchant generation subsidiary, owns, operates or has under construction 10,300 megawatts of capacity. DENA has another 13,500 megawatts in advanced development that should be operational by 2003.

"In 1997, our portfolio consisted almost entirely of our regulated generation plants in North Carolina and South Carolina. Since then we’ve grown dramatically – and strategically," Priory said.

Internationally, Duke Energy is continuing to expand its electrical generation and natural gas efforts with major projects in Asia-Pacific and South America.

"At Duke Energy, we’ve had clear success in maximizing value," said Priory. "The fact that our integrated businesses span both supply and demand gives us a definite edge."

For the complete text of Priory’s remarks and his slide presentation, visit the Investor Section at Duke Energy’s Web site at


Duke Energy, a diversified multinational 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.

Contact: Randy Wheeless
Phone: (704) 382-8379
24 Hour Phone: (704) 382-8333