Chesterton Tribune

 

 

NiSource reports solid first quarter

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By KEVIN NEVERS

NiSource Inc. is reporting a net income in the first quarter of 2013 of $260.5 million or basic earnings per share of 84 cents, compared to $193.4 million or 68 cents in the year-ago period.

“Following a solid performance in 2012, our momentum continues to build in 2013,” NiSource President and CEO Robert Skaggs Jr. said in a statement released on Tuesday.

“Our team’s demonstrated ability to deliver on a broad and growing inventory of infrastructure-based investment opportunities, coupled with regulatory and customer initiatives, generated first-quarter results in line with our expectations, as well as our 2013 earnings outlook.”

NIPSCO Projects

NiSource reported on the following initiatives being pursued by its subsidiary, the Northern Indiana Public Service Company:

* NIPSCO “is making progress on its plans to modernize its core electric transmission and distribution infrastructure.”

* Starting in February, NIPSCO crews began installing automated meter reading devices in its electric and gas service territory. The project is expected to cost $90 million over three years and by 2016 all 900,000 electric and gas meters will have been retrofitted with the devices.

* In the first quarter, NIPSCO received regulatory approval for its Green Power Rate pilot program, under which customers will be allowed to designate a portion or all of their monthly electric usage be attributable to power generated by renewable energy sources.

* The $500 million flue gas desulfurization project at the Schahfer generating station remains on schedule and on budget, NIPSCO said. Meanwhile, the company is preparing to make the same capital improvement, at an estimated cost of $250 million, at the Michigan City generating station.

“Our NIPSCO team remains keenly focused on continuously improving service and reliability, while investing in long-term economic and environmental initiatives across our service territory,” Skaggs said.

1Q Operating Income

* Gas distribution: $234.1 million ($210.3 million in the year-ago). The company attributed the improvement chiefly to increases in regulatory and service programs, partially offset by decreases in industrial and commercial usage.

* Columbia Pipeline Group: $133.5 million ($138.6 million in the year-ago). NIPSCO attributed the marginal decrease to the result of lower rates associated with the 2012 customer settlement at Columbia Transmission, partly offset by increases in commodity and demand margin revenue as a result of growth projects and a one-time settlement earlier this year.

* Electric: $65.2 million ($46.2 million in the year-ago). The company attributed the improvement to two factors generally: an increase in environmental cost recovery due to higher plant investment eligible for recovery and transmission infrastructure upgrade revenue; and lower operating expenses due to the timing of planned and unplanned maintenance.

* Corporate and other: an operating loss of $4.7 million (an operating income of $2.6 million in the year-ago).

 

 

Posted 5/1/2013