US bankruptcy court approves PG&E Corprevamp proposal

  • Corporate News
  • Monday, 22 Jun 2020

Bill Smith, right, interim chief executive officer and president of PG&E Corp., lowers his head as Butte County District Attorney Michael Ramsey, left, makes his closing statement during the criminal sentencing hearing in the trial of Pacific Gas & Electric Corp in Chico, Calif., Thursday, June 18, 2020. Pacific Gas & Electric on Thursday was fined $4 million for the deaths of 84 people killed in a nightmarish Northern California wildfire ignited by the its long-neglected electrical grid. - AP

BENGALURU: PG&E Corp said its Chapter 11 reorganisation plan has been confirmed by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, bringing the power provider one step closer to emerging from bankruptcy and participate in a state-backed wildfire fund.

The court’s approval follows the confirmation of the plan by power regulator California Public Utilities Commission in May.

“The ruling in the Chapter 11 proceeding concludes the process of approving PG&E’s Plan of Reorganisation, ” the San Francisco-based utility chief executive officer and president Bill Johnson said in a statement.

The company said that it expected to emerge from bankruptcy in July and that it is on track to participate in a state-backed wildfire fund, which reduces liability for investor-owned utilities but requires them to spend billions of dollars upgrading equipment.

The utility filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January last year, citing potential liabilities exceeding US$30bil from major wildfires sparked by its equipment in 2017 and 2018.

Earlier this week, the company pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter stemming from a devastating 2018 wildfire in Northern California touched off by the utility company’s power lines.

The guilty plea, part of an agreement with prosecutors in Butte County, is intended to end all criminal proceedings against PG&E from the Camp Fire, which broke out on Nov 8,2018, and destroyed much of the town of Paradise.

The Camp Fire killed at least 84 people and destroyed some 18,000 buildings. It is considered the most destructive wildfire in California history. — Reuters

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