International power company opens Spokane office
Mirant Corp. is on verge of announcing new projects in the Pacific NorthwestDecember 7th, 2001
Mirant Corp., a multinational energy-generation and trading company based in Atlanta, has opened a Spokane office and says its looking at buying or building power plants in Washington and Oregon.
The office, which is located in the WestCoast Hospitality Building, at 201 W. North River Dr., has two employees, Alan Meyers, director of business development, and Mike Gonnella, project manager. Both previously worked for Avista Power, a unit of Spokane-based Avista Corp.; Meyers was vice president of development at the Avista subsidiary.
The Spokane project-development office of Mirant (pronounced MEER-ant) is the companys first in Washington, although it has had a presence in the state since it bought a 286-megawatt power-plant project in Longview, Wash., last summer from Avista Power, Meyers says. The natural gas-fired plant is under construction and is expected to come on line by the summer of 2003.
In October, Mirant also acquired a 50 percent stake in Avistas 280-megawatt Coyote Springs 2 power plant in Boardman, Ore. That combined-cycle natural gas-fired plant also is under construction and should begin operating by mid-2002.
Mirantwhich also opened offices in Portland and Boise this yearhas big plans for the Pacific Northwest, Meyers says.
We have more than one opportunity thats very close to being announced in Washington and Oregon, he says, declining to give details of those projects.
Mirant owns or controls about 14,000 megawatts of power-generating capacity in North America and about 22,000 megawatts of such capacity worldwide. Its stated goal is to have 35,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. alone by 2005.
Besides producing and selling power, Mirant markets natural gas and has a large energy-trading operation in Atlanta, Meyers says. He adds that Mirant takes a different approach to the energy business than Enron Corp., the big energy trader that recently filed for bankruptcy reorganization: Our business plan is to own and control physical assets and market power and natural gas around those assets, he says. Enron had a very different strategy.
Mirant sees the Pacific Northwest as a growth market, Meyers says.
The events of last summer prove that the region is short electricity because the price ran up so dramatically, he says.
Within the next year or so, Mirant is likely to consolidate its three Northwest offices into one location, and Spokane is certainly a candidate to be the site of that consolidated office, Meyers says.