UPDATE 1-Ameren Energy Resources to cut 42 jobs in Illinois

jueves 23 de julio de 2009 16:56 CEST

* Cites tough economic and power market conditions * Majority of affected employees to leave early September * Says to also reduce capital-intensive projects

July 23 (Reuters) - Ameren Energy Resources (AER), a holding company for Ameren Corp (AEE.N: Cotización), said it would cut 42 jobs in Illinois, citing rising environmental compliance costs, and tough economic and power market conditions.

The majority of the affected employees will be leaving in early September, with a smaller group expected to leave next March, AER said, adding that the restructuring will affect employees within its generation technical services group.

AER also said it was reducing its capital-intensive projects, given the high cost of financing such projects in the current credit-constrained financial markets.

Earlier this year, Ameren Corp said it would reduce rates for its 1.2 million Illinois power customers beginning June 1 due to a sharp decline in the wholesale price of electricity. [ID:nN08496039]

Also, in April, the company suspended its efforts to build a new nuclear power plant in Missouri due to unfavorable legislation that would not allow for cost recovery during the construction process. [ID:nN23333066]

Ameren Corp, of St. Louis, owns and operates more than 14,000 megawatts of generating capacity, markets energy commodities, and transmits and distributes electricity and natural gas to customers in Illinois and Missouri.

One megawatt powers about 700 homes in Missouri.

Ameren Corp shares were up 1 percent at $24.92 Thursday morning on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has lost more than 40 percent since touching a 52-week high of $42.91 in August 2008. (Reporting by Adveith Nair in Bangalore, Editing by Himani Sarkar)