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ATLANTA-Aiming to own or control 35,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity by 2005, Mirant Corp. will break ground in early 2002 on a $500 million, 1,200-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in Gastonia, NC, 15 miles east of Downtown Charlotte and 180 miles northeast of Downtown Atlanta.

Locally based Mirant is working with the Gastonia County Economic Development Commission in selecting the power plant site in the rapidly developing Gastonia-Charlotte region and the Interstate 85 corridor. Mirant wants to be in commercial operation by summer 2004.

The Gastonia plant will be Mirant’s first in North Carolina. The amount of acreage needed and the cost of the land for the plant wasn’t disclosed in a prepared statement from Mirant.

Mirant owns or controls 21,500 megawatts of electric generating capacity around the world, the company states. Another 7,900 megawatts is under development.

In North America, Mirant controls an extensive natural gas asset base, including transportation, storage and access to 3.8 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas production, the company says.

Mirant common (MIR) was trading on the New York Stock Exchange at noon Aug. 28 at $29.93 per share, up 33 cents (1.11%) from the previous day on volume of 1.09 million. The company’s 52-week high low is $47.20 and $20.51. Mirant has a market capitalization of $10.18 million and a price/earnings ratio of 19.06.

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