Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Edison Mission Energy Files for Bankruptcy

Edison Mission Energy, an unregulated power-generating unit of Rosemead-based Edison International, indicated in December 2012 that it had filed for bankruptcy and had agreed on a reorganization plan with its parent company and holders of its $3.7 billion in debt. First Solar Inc., a solar power module manufacturer acquired a number of solar power projects in development by Edison Mission Energy, the power generation division of Edison International. This includes photovoltaic projects proposed for the Gray Butte area near Lake Los Angeles and near Mojave. “They purchased the entire development pipeline," said Bob Stiens, public affairs manager for Edison International. The 150-megawatt Gray Butte plant, in the permitting process with Los Angeles County, is proposed for 1,100 acres of agricultural land east of 240th Street East, near Avenue S. Press releases quoted Edison Mission Energy in a statement. “This is an important first step in the process to reduce our debt, enhance our liquidity profile and position EME for continued operation and future success." As part of the deal, Edison Mission Energy will be deconsolidated from Edison International “as of the filing date” and, in the future, will be referred to by the parent company as discontinued operations. Edison International’s stake in the bankrupt generating unit will be transferred to unsecured creditors. Santa Ana-based Edison Mission Energy said it had slightly more than $5.1 billion in assets and just under that amount in liabilities in Chapter 11 papers filed Monday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Illinois. Edison Mission Energy has been struggling on several fronts: depressed energy prices because of the nation’s boom in natural gas production; higher fuel costs affecting its older coal-fired facilities; and pending debt maturities. Despite the challenges, Pizarro sought to strike a positive tone on Edison Mission Energy’s future.

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