Detroit's Disaster Could See the Light of Privatization

DETROIT- TXU, Texas Utilities, is discussing a possible arrangement with Detroit's Department of Public Lightning to run the troubled utility.

One of the world's largest energy companies, TXU has a myriad of domestic and international partnerships with hotel chains, companies, government entities, and school districts. However, the company has yet to sign an arrangement with any U.S. city's power operations.

The arrangement, if accepted, could involve anything from supplying all electrical power to the city to merely providing and maintaining some or all of the equipment. But so far, no details of any plan have been released.

Without the deal, the city will be forced to spend $2.3 million for two more power lines as well as $63.8 million on new generators. The cost of the new generators will equal the Public Lighting Department's entire yearly budget. Mayor Dennis Archer has delayed the purchase of the generators in an effort to give possible investors time to offer a proposal.

Company officials are waiting to hear from Public Lighting Director Mark Petty, as the city reviews the TXU proposal.