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Avista Energy Opens Great Falls Office
Spokane-Based Company Expands Into Montana to Provide Natural Gas Services to Large Commercial and Industrial Businesses

SPOKANE, Wash., March 20 // -- Avista Energy, a subsidiary of Avista Corp., (NYSE: AVA), has opened an office in Great Falls, Montana, which will focus on expanding the company's natural gas portfolio optimization and management services to commercial and industrial businesses in Montana. Heading up the operations will be James Morin and James Anderson.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040128/SFW031LOGO )

In announcing the opening of the new Montana office, Dennis Vermillion, president and chief operations officer for Avista Energy, said, "It's a natural fit for Avista Energy to expand into Montana given our experience in managing the energy resources of others in the Pacific Northwest and in Western Canada. Both Jim Morin and Jim Anderson have strong ties to Montana and a wealth of experience in the natural gas industry. We are pleased to have them leading this effort for Avista Energy."

Morin, a native of Great Falls, is Director of Energy Marketing and the lead for market development and origination of natural gas for industrial and commercial operations in Montana. He spent the previous 11 years working with industrial and commercial customers throughout Montana and served as the former president of Energy West Resources, Inc. of Great Falls. Morin has been active in business and corporate development for the past 26 years in Montana, Utah and Idaho.

A graduate of Gonzaga University, Morin is active in a variety of church and community activities. He and his wife have three sons.

James Anderson, a native of Butte, Mont., is Senior Wholesale Gas Marketer, responsible for developing and originating supply contracts, managing customer supplies, as well as pipeline administration for Avista Energy's Montana customers. He will manage the activities from a satellite office in Butte.

Anderson, formerly with Energy West Resources, Inc., has over 16 years experience in natural gas marketing and trading in Montana, Wyoming and Alberta, Canada. A graduate of Montana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business marketing, Anderson and his wife have two sons.

Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is a company operating division that provides service to 338,000 electric and 297,000 natural gas customers in three western states. Avista's non-regulated subsidiaries include Avista Advantage (http://www.avistaadvantage.com/) and Avista Energy (http://www.avistaenergy.com/). Avista Corp.'s stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit http://www.avistacorp.com/.

NOTE: Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.

Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040128/SFW031LOGO
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk photodesk@prnewswire.com

SOURCE: Avista Energy

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