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SEMCO ENERGY Names Barrett Hatches President of ENSTAR

PORT HURON, Mich., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- SEMCO ENERGY, Inc. (Nasdaq: SMGS) today announced that Barrett Hatches has been named President of ENSTAR Natural Gas Co. in Anchorage, Alaska.

ENSTAR is one of two natural gas distribution systems owned by SEMCO ENERGY, Inc. Hatches succeeds Richard Barnes.

William L. Johnson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SEMCO ENERGY, Inc., made the announcement.

"SEMCO ENERGY is fortunate to have someone with Barrett Hatches' capabilities taking on the formidable task of replacing Dick Barnes in the ENSTAR leadership. Mr. Barnes has been a tremendous asset to the company and to the Anchorage community. I have every confidence that Mr. Hatches will continue to uphold that high standard," Johnson said.

Barnes has been offered a contract position with the company.

Hatches moves to ENSTAR from Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Public Affairs for SEMCO ENERGY, Inc. He joined the Company in 1997.

Prior to joining SEMCO ENERGY, Hatches was Vice President of Administration for V. Robinson & Co., a Kansas City, MO, management consulting firm. He also previously held management positions with North American Salt, Co., Missouri Gas Energy and the Santa Fe Railroad. He officially took over as President of ENSTAR on January 3, 2000.

"I am delighted by this opportunity and look forward to becoming acquainted with the members of the ENSTAR family and the Anchorage community as a whole," Hatches said. "I fully intend to maintain ENSTAR's reputation as a good corporate citizen, especially since this reflects the Core Values of SEMCO ENERGY and my personal values as well.

"I also would like to thank Dick Barnes for his invaluable aid during these months of transition as ENSTAR became part of the SEMCO ENERGY family. His contribution is greatly appreciated."

SEMCO ENERGY in July announced plans to acquire ENSTAR Natural Gas Co. from Ocean Energy of Texas. The acquisition was finalized in November. SEMCO ENERGY, Inc. is a diversified energy and infrastructure company that distributes natural gas to more than 350,000 customers combined in Alaska and Michigan. Its subsidiary, SEMCO ENERGY VENTURES, owns and operates businesses involved in gas engineering and quality assurance services, pipeline construction services, propane distribution, intrastate pipelines and natural gas storage in various regions of the United States.

ENSTAR Natural Gas Co. is one of Alaska's largest utilities, providing natural gas sales and distribution to more than 100,000 customers throughout Southcentral Alaska.
SOURCE SEMCO ENERGY, Inc.
CONTACT: Media: Francis Lieder, 810-987-2200, ext. 4188, fax, 810-989-4098, or Analysts: Edric Mason, 810-989-4104, fax, 810-989-4098, both of SEMCO ENERGY, Inc.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding SEMCO Energy's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.

 
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