Chesterton Tribune

NiSource reporting solid second quarter

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By KEVIN NEVERS

NiSource Inc. is reporting a net income for the second quarter of 2012 of $69.4 million or 25 cents basic earnings per share, compared to $40.2 million or 14 cents in the year-ago period.

“Across each of our three business units, NiSource continues to deliver on a robust combination of infrastructure modernization, growth, and regulatory initiatives that together deliver significant benefits for our customers and solid value for our shareholders,” NiSource President and CEO Robert Skaggs Jr. said in a statement released today. “We continue to see strong performance from NiSource’s gas distribution unit, our Indiana electric business, as well as our gas transmission, storage, and midstream business, which is demonstrating NiSource’s significant near- and long-term growth potential in the Utica and Marcellus Shale regions.”

NiSource reported the following initiatives pursued in the second quarter:

•NiSource Midstream & Minerals Group entered joint-ventures with affiliates of Hilcorp Energy Company to build infrastructure to support hydrocarbon production in the Utica Shale region of Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. One of the ventures, Pennant Midstream, will invest $300 million in its first phase to provide gathering capacity of 400 million cubic feet per day and processing capacity of 200 million feet per day. The project should be on line in the second half of 2013.

•Still on track is NIPSCO’s $500 million investment in new flue gas desulfurization at the Schahfer generating station, part of a nearly $850 million environmental investment program through 2018.

•NIPSCO has petitioned the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to approve a “Green Power Rate” pilot program, under which customers could designate a portion or all of their monthly electric usage to be attributable to power generated by renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydroelectric.

Meanwhile, NiSource said, “In the midst of sustained record high temperatures and severe summer storms, NIPSCO’s operations, including its generation fleet and transmission infrastructure, have continued to perform well and in line with expectations. The company reached an all-time peak load record on June 28, 2012, of roughly 3,710 megawatts.”

Finally, Skaggs added, “Our NIPSCO team is celebrating the company’s 100th anniversary this year by executing a truly historic level of environmental investment, customer focus, and community and economic development. These combined efforts provide NIPSCO with an outstanding foundation for providing long-term sustainable growth and enhanced service to our customers.”

Operating Income 2Q

•Gas distribution: $258.9 ($288.1 million in the year-ago). Weather negatively affected the bottom line by $42.2 million.

•Gas transmission and storage: $230.1 million ($203 million in the year-ago). NiSource attributed the improvement to higher demand margin revenue as a result of growth projects.

•Electric: $116.6 million ($90.9 million in the year-ago). NiSource attributed the improvement chiefly to increased industrial, commercial, and residential margins mainly as a result of the implementation of the 2010 electric rate case. Weather positively affected the bottom line by $5.2 million.

•Corporate: $2.4 million (an operating loss of $10.1 million in the year-ago).

•Total operating income: $608 million ($571.9 in the year-ago).

 

Posted 7/31/2012