Xcel Energy completes sale of Viking Gas Transmission

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Jan. 20, 2003 — Xcel Energy on Jan. 17 completed its previously announced sale of Viking Gas Transmission, including Viking’s one-third interest in Guardian Pipeline, to Northern Border Partners, L.P.

The sale is consistent with Xcel Energy’s focus on its core electric and gas distribution businesses, according to Dick Kelly, Xcel Energy’s chief financial officer.

Northern Border Partners purchased all of the common stock of Viking from Xcel Energy for approximately $152 million, including the assumption of outstanding debt.

The Viking system is a 671-mile interstate natural gas pipeline extending from the U.S.-Canadian border near Emerson, Manitoba, to Marshfield, Wis. Viking connects to several major pipeline systems to serve markets in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Guardian Pipeline, a 141-mile interstate natural gas pipeline system from Joliet, Ill., to a point west of Milwaukee, Wis., began operation in December. Subsidiaries of CMS Energy and Wisconsin Energy hold the remaining interests in Guardian.

Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in 12 Western and Midwestern states. The company provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.2 million electricity customers and 1.7 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. In terms of customers, it is the fourth-largest combination natural gas and electricity company in the United States. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis.


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