| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Nov 6 NRG Energy (NRG.N) would like
to own more nuclear power plants, including the two units it
proposed to build in Texas, the independent power company's
chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday.
"Over time, we would like to own more," Chief Executive
David Crane told Reuters at an industry conference in Orlando,
But Crane does not foresee NRG Energy increasing its
nuclear portfolio through buying Entergy's (ETR.N) five power
plants, which are set to be spun off next year.
"I wish we had them," Crane said, but added: "We're not the
NRG Energy would be competing with big nuclear companies,
such as Exelon (EXC.N) or Dominion Resources (D.N), if it were
to pursue Entergy's spun-off plants, Crane said. Power
companies with utilities have a lower cost of capital than
independent merchant companies that sell power at competitive
On Monday, Entergy said it would spin off its five
non-regulated nuclear plants, located largely in the U.S.
Northeast, which has some of the highest power prices in the
Crane said the newly spun-out company will more likely be a
target than an acquirer. "The idea that you can spin something,
then immediately go on an acquisition binge ... it would
probably be a few years out."
NRG Energy could see building more than the two nuclear
units it has proposed in Texas but the company is constrained
by having only one site, Crane said.
For the proposed new nuclear plants in Texas, Crane still
sees building the facilities for $2,400 per kilowatt even
though construction costs have gone up in the industry.
Crane also believes that NRG Energy can speed up the
42-month federal approval process for a new nuclear plant by
setting a goal of answering questions in six months rather than
the 12 months given to companies.
"We think we can cut some time off the schedule," he said.
(Editing by Gary Hill)