February 1, 2020 / 9:48 AM / 20 days ago

UPDATE 1-California's PG&E proposes board revamp in revised bankruptcy plan

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By Akshay Balan

Feb 1 (Reuters) - Bankrupt California power producer PG&E Corp said on Saturday it had submitted an updated reorganization plan including a new board of directors and new roles aimed at addressing concerns raised by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

PG&E filed for Chapter 11 protection in January last year, citing potential liabilities in excess of $30 billion from deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018 linked to its equipment.

Newsom last month rejected an earlier PG&E reorganization plan saying it lacked major changes in governance and tougher safety enforcement mechanisms mandated under a recent state wildfire statute.

PG&E, the state's largest investor-owned utility, said it believed its updated plan addressed the Newsom's concerns.

The utility needs Newsom's support as it is hoping to take part in a fund, created by the statute, that would help it compensate wildfire victims.

Investor-owned utilities can access the fund for wildfire claims, if they agree to contribute toward the fund and make a combined $5 billion, five-year investment toward improvement in their electrical grids.

To participate in the fund, PG&E must exit bankruptcy by June 30, putting intense pressure on the utility to resolve its complicated Chapter 11 quickly. The company said on Saturday it was on track to meet the deadline.

Aside from the new board, the plan would also create two newly expanded roles of Chief Risk Officer and Chief Safety Officer, who will both report directly to the company's chief executive, the company added in its statement.

PG&E said it had submitted its revised plan to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco and the California Public Utilities Commission. (Reporting by Akshay Balan in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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