WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of the Navy has awarded a 50-year, $92.5 million electrical services contract to Nueces Electric Cooperative of Robstown.

The contract is for the conveyance of electrical distribution systems at Naval Air Stations in Corpus Christi and Kingsville, and the associated Naval Auxiliary Landing Fields at Cabaniss, Orange Grove and Waldron.

Under the $92,558,207 contract, Nueces Electric Cooperative will be responsible for the electrical power distribution systems at the Naval Air Stations and associated NALFs.

U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz, who serves at chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, announced the contract last week.

"I am very pleased that a local entity, Nueces Electric Cooperative, has been awarded the contract to provide electrical services to our local military installations," said Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi.

The Nueces Electric Cooperative is the first electric cooperative in the nation to win a Navy utility privatization contract and the first contractor to supply electric distribution services to the Navy for multiple bases.

The 50-year utilities privatization contract begins June 1.

After June 1, NEC will begin operating the high-voltage electric distribution facilities at the locations. The utility said it intends to provide staff at NAS Corpus Christi, while NEC has a service center in Ricardo that will service the needs of NAS Kingsville.

"On June 1, we will be ready to take the reins," said NEC executive manager John Sims. "We look forward to the opportunity to improve and maintain the distribution systems and reliability for these facilities. We especially appreciate the opportunity to show our support for our military's mission and its goals."

Sale of the Department of Defense utility systems under utility privatization procedures will be conveyed to NEC via a bill-of-sale.

The work to be performed under the contract provides for initial system modifications required to bring the systems up to industry standards, maintenance and repair of the systems, as well as renewal and replacement of the various components over the term of the contract.

Seventy-five percent of the work will be performed in Corpus Christi with 25 percent in Kingsville, and the work is expected to continue for 50 years.

The contract was competitively procured, although only one proposal was received.

"Nueces Electric Cooperative responded to a request for proposals for this contract in 2002," said NEC project manager Varzavand Irani. "NEC was chosen 'best value' in the preliminary process and was invited to conduct due diligence to determine the operating costs for the bases in order to prepare a final proposal. The contract was signed on March 17 and NEC has been given until June 1 to transition the services from the Navy to NEC."

The Navy will continue to procure its own electric power and will maintain its own distribution systems at its Naval Air Stations in Corpus Christi and Kingsville until the contract takes effect.

Established in 1938, NEC is a not-for-profit, customer-owned electric cooperative that provides electric distribution services to more than 21,000 residents and businesses in eight counties along the Texas Coastal Bend.

The Nueces Electric Cooperative Retail Division serves the power supply needs, but not distribution services, of more than 17,000 residents and businesses in other parts of Texas.