Chesterton Tribune



NiSource posts 7.2M net loss in 3Q; Mass. explosion costs so far of $1.68B

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NiSource Inc. is reporting a net loss to common shareholders in the third quarter of $7.2 million or 2 cents, compared to a net loss to shareholders in the year-ago period of $345.1 million or 95 cents.

“Our third-quarter results have positioned NiSource to deliver on its financial commitments for 2018,” NiSource President and CEO Joe Hamrock said in a statement released today. “The NiSource teams continue their relentless focus on our core commitments of safety and customer satisfaction, and our long-term modernization programs that drive our financial results. We’ve also made significant progress on our electric generation strategy in Indiana with the approval of the Rosewater wind project and the filing of a second joint venture wind project, Indiana Crossroads.”

Greater Lawrence Costs

NiSource also released today a summary of costs or expenses associated with the disastrous natural-gas explosion in September 2018 in Greater Lawrence, Mass., in a system operated by NiSource subsidiary Columbia Gas:

--To date NiSource has invested approximately $255-260 million for pipeline replacement. The company maintains insurance for gas pipelines in the area of $300 million. “The recovery of any capital investment not reimbursed through insurance will be addressed in a future regulatory proceeding,” NiSource said. “The outcome of such a proceeding is uncertain.”

--Third-party insurance claims total $995 million to $1.02 billion But aggregate third-party insurance coverage available for losses is only $800 million. “Total expenses related to the incident have exceeded the total amount of insurance coverage available under our policies,” NiSource said. The company added, “We are not able to estimate the amount of expenses that will not be covered by insurance, but these amounts are material to our financial statements. Certain types of damages, expenses, or claimed costs, such as fines or penalties, may be excluded under the policies.”

--“Other expenses” total $430-440 million. That amount “includes other incident related expenses of approximately $388 million recorded since the Greater Lawrence incident,” NiSource said. “Amount represents certain consulting costs, vendor costs, claim center costs, labor, and related expenses incurred in connection with the incident and insurance-related loss surcharges.”

--As of Sept. 30, 2019, NiSource has collected $670 million in insurance recoveries. The company is unable to estimate either the amount or timing of additional future recoveries.

Operating Income/Loss by Segment

--Gas distribution: operating loss of $48.6 million (net loss of $455.2 million in year-ago).

--Electric: operating income of $140.7 million ($134.9 million in year-ago).

--Corporate and other: operating loss of $1.1 million (income of $4.4 million in year-ago).

--Total operating income: $91 million (total operating loss of $315.9 million in year-ago).



Posted 10/30/2019




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