AEP Resources' Mustine: Changes in Europe Bring Electric Industry Opportunities

HOUSTON, Sept. 14, 1998 -- The European Union is sparking change in the continent's electricity industry. "Electricity markets throughout Europe are opening because of a directive from the European Union," said David Mustine, AEP Resources' senior vice president, European development. "Also, privatization is widespread. The pace of change varies from rapid in a very dynamic market in the United Kingdom to more moderate in Germany and Italy, but change is evident in all countries. "The changes are attractive to energy companies like AEP Resources, since they provide investment opportunities," Mustine said. "But any move that decreases energy costs is also important for competitiveness. For instance, a 1996 report showed that European chemical manufacturers paid 45 percent more for energy than their American competitors." Mustine made his comments while attending the 17th Congress of the World Energy Council in Houston, where AEP Resources is an exhibitor (booth 2301, George R. Brown Convention Center). Competition for electricity assets or projects has become global, with expected or ongoing changes in many countries attracting interest from companies around the world. "The global electricity industry has undergone dramatic change in recent years, an evolution that will continue in the foreseeable future," Mustine said. "Many factors drive this change, but the common element is the recognition of the need for reliable, inexpensive electricity to make a nation's industries and economy competitive in the global marketplace." AEP Resources, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), pursues energy-related global investment opportunities and projects. AEP Resources owns 50 percent of Yorkshire Electricity Group, a regional electric company in the United Kingdom; 70 percent of a two-unit power plant nearing completion in central China; and 20 percent of Pacific Hydro, an Australian company that develops and operates hydroelectric facilities. AEP Resources is actively pursuing greenfield development projects or business and asset acquisition throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. The company monitors global developments from its offices in Columbus, Ohio; London; Singapore; Toronto; Beijing; and Sydney, Australia. Mustine heads the European regional office in London. "Many countries, like the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, are moving from a highly regulated electricity market to a competitive market," Mustine said. "Others, like Brazil and Mexico, have begun, or are considering, selling government-owned electricity assets to private entities. And developing nations like China are recognizing the need for additional electricity generation or transmission and distribution facilities to support development and economic growth." For the most part, Europe represents a mature energy market. "Opportunities in Europe will likely trend more toward investment in existing assets, although we do expect some construction projects," Mustine said. "As the market develops, there will be more need for marketing and trading expertise. This is one of our strengths, since AEP is among the leading energy marketers and traders in the United States." AEP Resources' capabilities are a good fit with opportunities available in the European electricity market, Mustine said. "AEP, our parent company, has almost a century of success as a very efficient, low-cost provider of electricity," Mustine said. "AEP built and operates some of the world's most efficient coal-fired power plants in the United States. It also built and operates a 22,000-mile transmission grid and a 105,000-mile distribution network to move electricity from the plants to customers. These historic strengths are assets when we participate in projects around the world." AEP, a global energy company, is one of the United States' largest investor-owned utilities, providing energy to 3 million customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. AEP has holdings in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Australia. Wholly owned subsidiaries provide power engineering, energy consulting and energy management services around the world. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.

For More Information, Contact: Pat D. Hemlepp Manager, Media Relations American Electric Power 614/223-1620

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