CMS stands by the Gulf

16 November 2002

CMS Energy of the US has denied reports it is planning to sell its Middle East assets and quit the region. The company last year decided to focus on its core US market and ceased fresh business development in the region. The decision was in response to the severe difficulties facing US energy trading companies, as highlighted by the 2000 California power crisis and the Enron affair.

CMS is the lead developer on the Jorf Lasfar independent power plant (IPP) in Morocco, the Taweelah A-2 independent water and power plant (IWPP) in Abu Dhabi and the Shuweihat IWPP, also in Abu Dhabi, which is still under construction. It is also in negotiations to sign an energy conversion agreement for the first IPP in Saudi Arabia, a captive power plant for Saudi Petrochemical Company (US, MEED Special Report, 21:9:01, page 28).

'We are definitely not seeking to sell assets in the Middle East,' said a company spokesman on 12 November. 'This is only a rumour, even if some people have expressed interest in buying them.' An Abu Dhabi group and an international developer are said to have expressed interest in some CMS Gulf assets.

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