Ashland Energy Services to provide electric management services to port of Houston authority

DUBLIN, Ohio, Aug. 23, 2001 — Ashland Energy Services, an operating unit of Ashland Distribution Company, and Port of Houston Authority have reached an agreement whereby Ashland will assist the Port of Houston Authority with analyzing electric cost-reduction opportunities and procuring electricity from third-party suppliers.

The agreement covers all of the Port Authority’s facilities in the Houston, Texas, metropolitan area and is in preparation for the State of Texas’ Electric Choice Program that begins in 2002. Ashland Distribution Company is a division of Ashland Inc.

John Paterson, electrical system manager with the Port of Houston Authority, was impressed with Ashland’s understanding of the economics and regulatory climate surrounding the Texas Choice Pilot Program that began July 31, 2001. “The rules of the game seem literally to be changing every day. Ashland, without a doubt, has completed extensive research on electric deregulation in Texas,” Paterson said.

“Through their contacts with suppliers, utilities and public utility commission staffs, we believe Ashland is able to provide the guidance necessary for the Port of Houston Authority to maximize its savings potential. The Port of Houston Authority is continuously evaluating ways to reduce energy costs and selected Ashland based on their expertise and understanding of the competitive situation in Texas,” he added.

With knowledge and understanding of deregulated electric markets, Ashland’s role will be to solicit proposals from third-party electric suppliers and help the Port of Houston Authority understand the complexities of the proposals by performing an independent savings analysis based on actual tariffs and rate filings. Ashland will compile the proposals in a common format, educate the Port Authority on the similarities and differences, and make suggestions regarding the appropriate path forward.

The Port of Houston Authority, which owns or operates the public wharves and cargo facilities along the Houston Ship Channel, is the uncontested load center of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Houston’s port, which has facilities to handle all types of cargo, handles 94% of the container movements in Texas and over 62% of those on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Ashland Energy Services provides customized total energy management services to commercial and industrial end-user facilities throughout North America. These services include natural gas and electric supply consulting, demand-side management and energy conservation. Ashland’s commitment is to provide objective advice and superior customer service.

Ashland Distribution Company, a division of Ashland Inc., is a distributor of chemicals, plastics, fiber reinforcements and fine ingredients in North America, and a Pan-European distributor of plastics.

Visit the Internet web site at to learn more about these operations; and for more information about Ashland Energy Services, visit

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