The new head of San Diego-based Sempra Energy has jump-started his tenure by vowing to spend $4 billion in the next two years on capital projects.
Donald Felsinger, who assumed the role of chairman at the Fortune 500 company Feb. 1, told the Associated Press that he plans to spend the money on expanding new businesses, including those dealing with liquefied natural gas. Some environmentalists, who say it is unnecessary to meet consumer energy demands, have objected to the pursuit of liquefied natural gas facilities. But the California Public Utilities Commission has supported it.
The $4 billion will be spent in $2 billion increments during the next two years, a significant increase compared with the $1.5 billion that was spent in 2005, the $1.16 billion that was spent in 2004 and the $1.25 billion that was spent in 2003.
Felsinger, 58, was promoted to the head position after longtime Chief Executive Officer Stephen Baum announced in the fall that he would retire this year. Felsinger became CEO on Jan. 1 and chairman Feb. 1. Before assuming the roles, Felsinger had been the company’s chief operating officer. He is a former president and COO of Enova Corp., which was the parent company of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. before the 1998 merger that created Sempra. From 1996 to 1998, Felsinger was president and CEO of SDG & E.;
Replacing Felsinger as company COO is Neal Schmale, who has been Sempra’s executive vice president and chief financial officer since the company’s founding. Mark Snell, who has been a group president of Sempra Global since August 2004, is replacing Schmale.
, Jessica Long