Generator CGE fires up for launch by hiring chief executive

Click to follow

A newly formed electricity generating company, which hopes to rise Phoenix-like from the ashes of Britain's bankrupted independent power sector, took another step towards its goal yesterday with the appointment of a chief executive.

CGE Power, which plans to turn itself into one of the country's biggest electricity producers with about 12,000 megawatts of capacity, or 18 per cent of the market, said it had recruited Eddie Hyams, a former senior executive with Eastern Group and Southern Electric.

Mr Hyams will work as chief executive alongside CGE Power's executive chairman Jim Forbes, the former chief executive of Scottish & Southern Energy, who joined the group last May.

CGE (standing for Coal and Gas Electric) hopes to persuade the banks which own Britain's distressed independent power stations to swap their £5.5bn of debt for equity in a new entity, which would eventually be floated on the stock market.

The company, which already has the backing of six of the biggest lenders, including Royal Bank of Scotland, HBoS, Abbey and Lloyds TSB, intends to begin sending out offers to power stations in the next month with the hope of launching itself on the generating market by the middle of the year. CGE is particularly keen to bring the 4,000 megawatt Drax plant, Britain's biggest power station, on board, and has also put Fiddlers Ferry, Ferrybridge, Damhead Creek, Killingholme and Teesside at the top of its list.

Bondholders in Drax recently rejected a takeover offer from International Power and yesterday it was reported that American Electric Power, the owner of Fiddlers Ferry and Ferrybridge, had rejected a £300m offer from International Power, which had been preferred bidder for the stations.

CGE, which is being advised by Greenhills and Lazards, said it had also appointed a senior RBS executive, Jose Brena, as transaction director with a brief to clinch deals with individual stations.