News Releases

Sierra Pacific Resources Assists City of Ely with $375,000 Loan

Mar 27, 2007

At the Ely City Council meeting Thursday, March 22, David Sims, director of project development for Sierra Pacific Resources' Ely Energy Center informed the city council that Sierra Pacific will loan $375,000 to the City of Ely and the White Pine Historical Railroad Foundation. The loan will allow the city and foundation to complete the purchase of the Nevada Northern Railroad line from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP).

"We have been working with all of the parties for some time to allow the city to finalize its purchase of the rail line from LADWP. A similar loan has been offered by LS Power. The combined loans will preserve the rail line's use for future economic development in the city and White Pine County," Sims said. "Allowing the city and foundation to take full ownership gives all the parties comfort that we can go forward with rehabilitating the railroad."

In November 2006, Sierra Pacific received approval from the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada to begin upgrades to the Nevada Northern Railroad to support its planned Ely Energy Center. "Once we and the city have obtained the necessary permits and completed the commercial arrangements, we're prepared to move forward with the rehabilitation from the Shafter interchange with the Union Pacific Railroad, approximately 100 miles south to our power plant site."

A joint agreement for funding was reached between Sierra Pacific Resources, White Pine Energy Associates (an affiliate of LS Power), the White Pine Historic Railroad Foundation and the City of Ely. The city voted at its March 15, 2007 meeting to accept the $375,000 from both LS Power and Sierra Pacific if such loans did not require a security interest in the line. As a result of this agreement, the city and foundation will not need to accept LS Power's offer of a $750,000 note to pay off the LADWP loan. That loan would have required a security interest in the rail line.

For further information:

Media Contact: Faye I. Andersen, 775-834-4822