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SEMCO ENERGY Explores Entering Information Technology Business

PORT HURON, Mich., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- SEMCO ENERGY, Inc. (NYSE: SEN) announced today at its Annual Meeting of Shareholders that it plans to leverage its technical expertise and experience with mid-range computer systems as well as its knowledge of and commitment to computerized enterprise business systems to enter the information technology business. The Company plans to make a formal announcement within the next two weeks.

"Since hiring Rudolfo D. Cifolelli as our Chief Information Officer, we have invested heavily in our Information Technology area to support the growth of our gas distribution, engineering and construction businesses. We now have a state-of-the-art technology center here in southeastern Michigan," said SEMCO ENERGY Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William L. Johnson.

Cifolelli, who has vast experience in the computer services outsourcing market added, "There is an ever increasing demand for outsourcing services in the information technology market. We at SEMCO ENERGY recognize that market is a huge one -- the market for computer outsourcing services is estimated at $100 billion annually. The revenue potential for Internet-related services is many fold more than that. By leveraging our experience and investments, we can turn a cost center into a profit center."

Before joining SEMCO ENERGY, Cifolelli established a similar information technology outsourcing center from a data processing department of a large, diversified energy company. He formed and grew a computer services outsourcing company to more than $100 million in revenue in less than seven years, employing 500 and serving 16 Fortune 500 companies.

Johnson said the development of an independent Information Technology company fits SEMCO ENERGY's stated diversification plan.

"This new venture represents exactly the type of diversification SEMCO ENERGY is pursuing. Its springboard is our management's expertise and the skills and experience of employees. We are finding niches in the market that are under-served and providing services in a high-quality, efficient and cost- competitive manner," he said.

SEMCO ENERGY, Inc. owns and operates natural gas distribution systems serving more than 350,000 customers in Michigan and Alaska. A subsidiary, SEMCO ENERGY VENTURES, owns and operates businesses involved in gas engineering and quality assurance services, pipeline construction services, intrastate pipeline and natural gas storage and propane distribution in various regions of the United States.
SOURCE SEMCO ENERGY, Inc.
CONTACT: Media, Francis R. Lieder, Jr., 810-987-2200, Ext. 4186, fax, 810-989-4098, or email, francis.lieder@semcoenergy.com, or Analysts, Edric R. Mason, Jr., 810-989-4104, fax, 810-989-4098, or email, edric.mason@semcoenergy.com, 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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