Saturday, February 6, 2016

City issues RFQ for PGW sale

The official process of selling PGW has begun.

City issues RFQ for PGW sale

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The city on Friday officially began the process of selling Philadelphia Gas Works, issuing a request for qualifications from potential buyers.

Companies have until Aug. 23 to respond to the nonbinding RFQ. Then, the city will select a group of finalists to submit binding applications.

Mayor Nutter has made privatizing the utility a priority of his second term.

“I believe strongly that the sale of PGW will create jobs in the city, benefit PGW customers and grow Philadelphia's economy,” Nutter said in a statement. “Philadelphia is the only major city on the East Coast that still owns a gas company.”

Nutter, however, has said the administration will only go forward with a deal if there is an offer lucrative enough to satisfy PGW’s substantial debts and make a pretty penny for the taxpayers.

A city-commissioned study last year said a sale could fetch $1.85 billion. PGW’s debts are estimated to be about $1.3 billion.

City Council and the state Public Utility Commission would have to approve any sale.

PGW is the nation’s largest publicly owned utility, according to the city. Nutter says the time is ripe to sell because the gas service’s fiscal house is in order and the market is hot for utilities.

The potential sale faces opposition from labor groups that believe privatization will hurt workers and skepticism from some who question whether the city will profit from a deal.

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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