NRG Energy to buy York Research Trinidad power project

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Oct. 30, 2001 – A unit of NRG Energy Inc. has agreed to buy York Research Corp.’s 225 MW power project in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for $140 million, York Research said Tuesday.

Separately, York Research, New York, NY, reported it defaulted on a $10.3 million portfolio bond payment and replaced its chief executive as it faces the threat of a bankruptcy filing.

Robert C. Paladino, formerly York’s executive vice-president, was named CEO, succeeding Robert M. Beningson.

The green power and cogeneration developer also said creditors of its bankrupt subsidiary, Syracuse, NY, based North American Energy Conservation Inc., were deciding whether to file a bankruptcy petition against the company, alleging claims against York had not been fruitful.

The company said collateral for the defaulted portfolio bonds, due Tuesday, includes York’s interest in its Trinidad plant; a 34 MW wind project in Big Spring, Tex.; a 286 MW cogeneration project at the Brooklyn Navy Yard; and the 38 MW cogeneration Warbasse project in New York City.

York said if the sale of the Trinidad project to NRG Energy, Minneapolis, Minn., doesn’t close by Nov. 21, either party can terminate the agreement. The transaction is also subject to approval by the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission and the discharge of the liens of the portfolio bonds. In addition to Tuesday’s default, the company said $17 million generated by the Trinidad project over the last 18 months was advanced to York for its general corporate purposes, a violation of the provisions of the documents governing the portfolio bonds.

North American Energy Conservation filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code Mar. 2, 2000 in the Southern District of New York. York guaranteed $46 million of the total prepetition debt of NAEC. The company said it has since not been able to fulfill its agreement to fund a trust account.

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