Council to pay firm $425,000 on PGW sale

Posted: April 02, 2014

CITY COUNCIL will pay Concentric Energy Advisors at least $425,000 to help it decide whether to sell Philadelphia Gas Works, Council President Darrell Clarke announced yesterday.

The deal with Concentric, of Marlborough, Mass., includes two contracts. The first, worth $225,000, asks the firm to evaluate Mayor Nutter's proposal for the PGW sale - a $1.86 billion deal with UIL Holdings Corp., of New Haven, Conn. - and compare it with bids the administration rejected.

Under the other contract, worth $200,000, Concentric will explore alternatives to selling PGW, such as developing its liquefied natural gas capabilities.

Selling PGW is a major priority for Nutter this year, and whether Council will go along with his proposal is the big question in City Hall during this spring's budget season.

Nutter has said he is supportive of Council's efforts to evaluate the proposed sale, which also must be approved by the state Public Utility Commission. Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald said yesterday that Concentric has "a very good reputation."

UIL can walk away from the deal if it isn't approved by July 15.

Clarke said yesterday that he isn't concerned with any timeline established in the administration's deal.

"That's not a document that I signed," he said. "Whatever time it takes, we'll use that time. The reality is that this is the most significant municipal contract/transaction in the history of the city of Philadelphia."

The $425,000 cost reflects "base contracts," meaning the price tag could go up if Council renews or expands the contracts.

"This is a $1.86 billion proposal," Clarke said. "If it takes us $400,000 to make sure that we make the appropriate decision, I think that's money well spent."

Concentric's bids were in the "low to midpoint" of proposals submitted to Council, according to a news release.

On Twitter: @SeanWalshDN


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