Duke To Close Down Canadian Energy Trading Unit

Duke Energy, the second biggest US utility owner, will close its Engage Energy unit after failing to find a buyer for the Canadian energy trader.

Duke has not decided how many of the Calgary-based Engage's one hundred and sixty employees will be fired, spokeswoman Becky Nash said. Some workers will be offered jobs in the company's other energy trading subsidiaries, she said.

The Charlotte based Duke also has another hundred and sixty employees in its own Canadian trading business, Nash said. Engage employees will be offered new jobs or severance packages by July 1stshe said.

Engage was started by Canadian pipeline owner Westcoast Energy and Coastal Corp. of the US. Westcoast took over the venture after Coastal was acquired by rival El Paso Corp. last year. Westcoast was bought by Duke in March.

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