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WINGAS Commences Network Management Project with GE Smallworld Spatial Technology

DENVER -- Aug. 21, 2001--GE Smallworld, a leading provider of strategic network solutions to the utility industry, today announced that WINGAS GmbH in Kassel, Germany has selected GE Smallworld Spatial Technology to store geographic information system (GIS) data and to support queries for identifying geographically dispersed network assets.

WINGAS selected the GE Smallworld Spatial Technology platform based on the system's performance and flexibility and GE Smallworld's experience with similar network applications in Western Europe. WINGAS had been collecting and documenting their surveying data and cartographic material in electronic format since 1993. In the fall of 1999, WINGAS started looking for a replacement system and, after completing a detailed requirements specification, selected GE Smallworld software to replace its incumbent system. Impressed by the technical competence of GE Smallworld and its partners, WINGAS selected GE Smallworld based on its informative reference sites, the widespread market dissemination of its products, product availability, and the presentation of a binding implementation plan.

"We are pleased to be working with WINGAS. They are an innovative natural gas transmission company with links to some of the largest gas reserves in the world," Terry Phebey, manager of operations for the Utilities and Public Systems Division in Europe, Middle East and Africa, GE Smallworld.

The implementation project began in March 2001. Phase one includes the purchase of licenses for the gas transmission application, already in use in 13 other central European projects, as well as a cadastral solution for interfacing to official German landbase data stored in vector format. The goal of the initial phase is to migrate existing data from the incumbent system and integrate it into the business processes for trench planning, operations, right-of-way administration, documentation, alarming, and flight inspection management.

After the data is migrated, users will be able to access the information via the Web using the new GE Smallworld Internet Application Server. In later phases, the system will be expanded to include applications to support gas network operations (process control techniques), network engineering, trading, and cable management. The GE Smallworld system will also be integrated with WINGAS' SAP system so that spatially-related data will be available in SAP.

GE Smallworld will be in charge of project management and will be working with business partner Geomagic (Erfurt) to implement the system. Geomagic has extensive experience working with GE Smallworld customers such as Verbundnetz Gas and BEB Hannover. GE Smallworld business partner sofion, based in Freiburg, Germany, was awarded the contract for implementing Cable Scout - a cable management product developed by sofion based on GE Smallworld technology.

About WINGAS

WINGAS is among the fastest growing gas importers in the German utility market. Since 1993, they have been supplying local and regional gas utility companies, as well as industrial clients in Germany and in neighboring European countries, with natural gas primarily from Russia. As a subsidiary of Wintershall (65%) and the Russian Gazprom (35%), WINGAS currently operates approximately 1,800 km of high-pressure gas pipelines. Over the next few years, WINGAS wants to increase its current market share of 13% to 20%. The GE Smallworld project will be of strategic significance for WINGAS' growth goals.