AEP acquires land for expansion of Lakin, W.Va., river operations center
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 18, 2007 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) is purchasing property adjacent to its Lakin, W.Va., river operations center to be used for expansion of that facility.
The Lakin site houses AEP’s River Operations, responsible for moving coal along the Ohio River and its tributaries for delivery to AEP power plants. Currently, about 20 people work at the Lakin office and approximately 250 river mariners are dispatched from Lakin to staff or provide mechanical support for the 14 boats operated by River Operations.
AEP, through its Appalachian Power subsidiary, is purchasing the nearly 27-acre site adjacent to its existing 10-acre site from the West Virginia Economic Development Authority for approximately $268,000. The company is working with architects to design the new facility. Construction is expected to begin and be completed in 2008.
“The River Operations group is a vital component of our utility operations that provides significant benefits to our customers,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Having our own boats and barges enables us to move coal to our power plants efficiently and cost-effectively, a capability that many other companies in our sector don’t have. This new facility, which will be designed to meet current and future needs of our River Operations group, demonstrates the importance we place on the work they do.”
“Our river operations are growing,” said Mark K. Knoy, president of AEP River Operations. “The new facility will provide us with office and work space as well as room to dispatch a growing mariner team. We will also have an on-site, state-of-the-art training facility to be used for safety and job skills training for current and new mariners, which is extremely important to us. This expansion will accommodate expected additions to our workforce in order to meet the increased demands of our business.”
The original landowner, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, facilitated the economic development project by agreeing to transfer the property to the West Virginia Economic Development Authority, which approved the sale of the property to Appalachian Power in its meeting today.
"This is good news for Mason County," said West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin. "Between its river operations at Lakin, two plants in New Haven, and its Point Pleasant service center, AEP is one of the largest employers in the county. With the expansion of its river operations facility, AEP is further cementing its commitment to the county and to the state of West Virginia."
Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass said, “Economic development, especially in our rural communities, is critical for our state. This project will pay dividends in the future and is a great example of the cooperative efforts ongoing among state agencies to build a better future for West Virginia.”
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning more than 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power
, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.
Pat D. Hemlepp
Director, Corporate Media Relations
Vice President, Investor Relations & Strategic Initiatives