Feb. 7, 2008 -
Moody’s Investor Services has announced that it is upgrading its rating on Omaha Public Power District’s Electric System Revenue Bonds and Electric System Subordinated Revenue Bonds. The international debt rating service based in New York has notified the district that ratings on the utility’s Revenue Bonds will be raised from Aa2 to Aa1 and the rating on its Subordinated Revenue Bonds will be raised from Aa3 to Aa2.
“This places OPPD among a very elite group of public power utilities in the nation as one of only four utilities to be given this rating,” said Charles Moriarty, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for OPPD. “It indicates that our utility has been able to successfully achieve superior financial results and operating results during a period of substantial construction while maintaining a customer focus.”
Mr. Moriarty said the upgraded rating is expected to provide benefits for the District by making it less costly to borrow money and increasing demand for debt issued by the District.
Among the reasons cited by the investor service in upgrading OPPD’s bond ratings were the District’s substantial completion of major upgrades to Fort Calhoun Nuclear Generating Station and the near completion of Nebraska City Station Unit 2 while meeting budgeting and scheduling forecasts. The new 663 megawatt (MW) coal-fired generating plant under construction near Nebraska City is currently 60 percent complete and is scheduled to go online next year. The investor service noted the plant upgrades well position OPPD to meet future energy needs at competitive costs.
Additional factors for the new rating according to Moody’s included the utility’s relatively
low debt, strong management team, stable financial and risk management, continued growth in the customer base and strong service area economy.
The Omaha Public Power District has a total of $1.6 billion in rated debt outstanding. The District joins Orlando Utilities Commission, San Antonio City Utilities and Salt River Public Power Project as the only utilities with an Aa1 rating.