A name that has been around since 1993 is leaving the Rim Country, but only the name. Energy West (in Arizona) has been purchased by SemStream Arizona Propane.
The sale must be approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission first, then Energy West will become SemStream Arizona Propane.
The purchase was made in July, but the ACC will not take action until January.
Energy West in Arizona is owned by Energy West, Inc. of Great Falls, Mont.
Payson plant manager Doug Mann said the company decided to sell its Arizona operation to focus on its natural gas operations in Montana and Wyoming and build its business in the area of the northern Rocky Mountain region.
He said the Energy West corporation is primarily a natural gas business and SemStream is a very large propane distribution company, serving most of the U.S., Canada and parts of Mexico.
"We have had a vendor relationship with them for about two years," Mann said. "They are very well thought of in the industry."
SemStream's parent, SemGroup, L.P., is a midstream service company based in Tulsa, Okla., providing the energy industry the means to move products from the wellhead to the wholesale marketplace. It is the ninth largest private company in the U.S., according to Forbes magazine.
"We're very excited about coming into Arizona," said Jim Asbury, spokesman for SemStream. "It's our first step into the utility arena, but it's a good fit for us."
Mann said, he and his staff have been given 100 percent assurance that 100 percent of the Payson staff will be retained.
"Our employee group has had a very positive response," Mann said. SemStream representatives have visited with his staff several times.
The ACC hearing on the sale is Jan. 11, 2007. No rate changes are part of the sale. Should the new owners want to make rate changes, there is another hearing process to follow, Mann said.
The ACC is accepting requests from parties interested in intervening in the sales hearing. Those requests must reach the ACC by Dec. 1.
For more information visit www.azcc.gov. A copy of the application before the commission is also at the Energy West office, 200 W. Longhorn Road in Payson.