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PGE releases first post-Enron annual report

Portland General Electric released its first annual report in 10 years this week, marking an important milestone in its separation from the bankrupt Enron Corp.

'This is an important step for PGE, its employees, its investors and its customers,' said PGE CEO and President Peggy Fowler.

The 2006 annual report paints an optimistic picture of the company, showing retail energy sales, net income, earnings per share and capital expenditures all up over 2005.

Enron bought PGE in 1997, then declared bankruptcy in December 2001. As part of a complicated, court-monitored plan to settle claims against Enron, PGE has returned to being a publicly owned company and 62 percent of its shares have already been distributed. There is no deadline for distributing the remaining shares.

Fowler said PGE's return to public ownership better allows the management to plan for future challenges, including an energy supply shortage predicted to begin in 2009. Fowler said the next two years is adequate time for PGE to plan new conservation programs and generation sources to close the gap. She predicted that an increasing amount of the new energy will come from renewable sources, including wind generation. The company is currently planning a 450-megawatt wind farm in Biglow Canyon near Pendleton.

The City of Portland studied buying PGE before it became a publicly owned company. The city is currently suing PGE to obtain documents related to transactions that occurred when it was owned by Enron. A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge ordered the city and PGE to mediate the dispute two weeks ago. If mediation fails, a court trial is set for September 2007.

PGE serves nearly 800,000 customers in a 4,000-square-mile territory that includes 52 cities. It has 2,700 employees and is one of Oregon's top ten companies by revenue. According to the report, its net income was $71 million in 2006.