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Norsk Hydro buys gas company in the Netherlands

November 19, 2003, 15:00 CET

Norsk Hydro Energy B.V. (indirect subsidiary of Norsk Hydro ASA) has signed an agreement with Duke Energy International for purchase of the gas sales and marketing organisation of Duke in the Netherlands, Duke Energy Europe Northwest B.V.

Duke Energy Europe Northwest B.V. is a midstream player in the Dutch gas marketwith a portfolio of sourcing, sales, transportation and storage
agreements. The main customer is Hydro Agri's plant in Sluiskil. The company is located in the Hague and has four employees.

Norsk Hydro is a major gas player both as producer and trading company in the European gas market. Norsk Hydro's own production is nearly 8 billion
cubic metres of gas this year, with an additional 11 billion cubic metres of third party sales and trading.

Norsk Hydro has, through its subsidiary Norsk Hydro Energy B.V., built a midstream gas business in the Dutch market with sourcing and sales contracts, constituting approximately 6% of the liberalised Dutch gas market.

The purchase of Duke Energy Europe Northwest B.V. will strengthen Norsk Hydro's position in the Dutch as well as the northwest European gas markets by improving Norsk Hydro's ability to develop new products and to reach new customers.

Duke Energy Europe Northwest B.V. had a turnover of EUR 359 million in 2002, but this is forecasted to decrease due to expiry of many short term agreements.

The closing of the sale is expected to take place in the fourth quarter, subject to EU approval and effective 1st of January 2004.