News In Brief

New Hampshire utility halts work on A-plant

Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) has temporarily halted work on the Seabrook nuclear power project while the utility tries to secure new lines of credit to stave off bankruptcy.

On Wednesday, the leading utility partner laid off 5,200 of 6,200 workers. The stoppage is expected to save the company and its 15 New England utility partners $750,000 a day in construction costs.

''It looks to us like they're working on a plan so that the banks will give them a few more weeks,'' says Barry Abramson of Goldman, Sachs & Co., a New York brokerage. If PSNH goes bankrupt, the analyst warns, five of the Seabrook utility partners could face stock dividend cuts and possible bankruptcy.

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