AltaGas to buy California-based Blythe Energy for $515 million

March 25 Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:51am EDT

March 25 (Reuters) - Canadian energy infrastructure company AltaGas Ltd said it will buy U.S. power company Blythe Energy LLC for $515 million to take control of a power plant that runs on cheaper and cleaner natural gas.

AltaGas, which is involved in energy services, power generation and natural gas extraction and transmission, said the acquisition will help it meet increasing demand for power generated from cleaner sources.

Blythe owns Blythe Energy Center, a 507 megawatt natural gas-fired plant and a related 230 kilovolt electric transmission line in Southern California.

Calgary, Alberta-based AltaGas, which has operations in the United States and Canada, said the acquisition is likely to add to its earnings and cash flow per share in 2014. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

The demand for cleaner energy sources, including natural gas, continues to be strong across North America and is a key driver for the potential growth of the Blythe Energy Center, the company said.

The Center is contracted under a Power Purchase Agreement through to July 2020 with Southern California Edison.

"... the facility is well positioned to access two premium power markets in California and Arizona in the future," AltaGas Chief Executive David Cornhill said.

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