PG&E Corp files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

FILE PHOTO: PG&E crew work on power lines to repair damage caused by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 21, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/File Photo

(Reuters) – Power provider PG&E Corp filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, succumbing to liabilities stemming from wildfires in Northern California in 2017 and 2018.

PG&E, the owner of the biggest U.S. power utility, also filed a motion seeking court approval for a $5.5 billion in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing, it said in a statement.

PG&E, which had a debt burden of more than $18 billion, said earlier this month it would need to pursue a court-supervised reorganization in the aftermath of the blazes, including November’s so-called Camp Fire.

“Throughout this process, we are fully committed to enhancing our wildfire safety efforts, as well as helping restoration and rebuilding efforts across the communities impacted by the devastating Northern California wildfires,” PG&E interim CEO John Simon said.

The company also intends to pay suppliers in full under normal terms for goods and services provided on or after the filing date of Jan. 29, it said.

The San Francisco-based company expects the court to act on these requests in the coming days.

The bankruptcy petition was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California.

Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Gopakumar Warrier