Centrica agrees to purchase Bastrop Energy

HOUSTON — April 22, 2004 — Centrica announced that it has entered into an agreement with FPL Energy affiliates to acquire Bastrop Energy Partners, L.P., owner of the Bastrop Energy Center (BEC), for $143 million in cash. Completion of the transaction is expected no later than the third quarter of 2004. The transaction is subject to FPL Energy closing on its pending acquisition of the remaining interest in Bastrop Energy Partners from its current partner, the receipt of Hart Scott Rodino approval, and other
customary conditions.

The acquisition of this 540-megawatt, natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant marks Centrica’s first purchase of a generation asset in the U.S. Centrica has focused its search for U.S. generation assets on Texas, where the company serves approximately 900,000 residential and commercial customers in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Midland-Odessa and throughout South and West Texas.

“This acquisition delivers on our business strategy to enter the U.S. generation arena in order to meet a portion of our customer demand with our own supply,” said Michael Hogan, senior vice president, upstream gas and power. “It also demonstrates that states such as Texas that have successfully opened their retail electricity markets to competition are attracting new investors in their generation infrastructure.”

BEC is a flexible operating asset that employs competitive technology, including 55 megawatts of rapid-response peak generating capacity. Located on a 120-acre site in Bastrop County approximately 25 miles east of Austin, Texas, BEC became operational in May 2002. The plant is powered by two General Electric PG 7FA gas turbines, two Aalborg 1975-E heat recovery steam generators and one Toshiba DF-408 steam turbine generator.

BEC is interconnected to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) power grid at Austin Energy’s Garfield Substation. Upon completion of the transaction, Centrica plans to retain existing plant employees involved in the commercial operations of BEC.

About Centrica North America

The Centrica group of companies constitutes one of the largest multi-state providers of deregulated retail energy services in North America. Through the Direct Energy and Energy America brands and CPL Retail Energy and WTU Retail Energy in South and West Texas, Centrica’s North American operations have grown to more than 4 million customer relationships. Globally, the Centrica group of companies is a leading provider of energy and other essential services with more than 45 million customer relationships

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