Reputedly, utilities in the USA spend more than $130 billion each year to p lan, construct, repair and operate their plants and distribution systems. The object of this website, which started trading on January 1, is to provide an online trading community that will allow utilities to get the best of those services. It results from a getting together of 21 “leading North American utiities” last year with the idea of using the internet to apply supply chain management to the purchase of supplies and services, and to help face the challenges presented by such market forces as deregulation.. Commercial transactions have already commenced and twelve new suppliers have signed membership agreements since the opening.

Certainly the list of founding investors is impressive. It includes American Electric Power, Cinergy, Consolidated Edison, Duke Energy, Entergy, FirstEnergy Corp., Carolina Power and Light and Exelon.

Pantellos itself is independent of the marketplace, and places great store by its neutrality. Initial offerings include collaborative agreements, supply chain solutions such as asset optimisation powered by iVita and project collaboration powered by Citadon. Also auctions run on Commerce One (NASDAQ: CRMC), and transaction or exchange services such as buying, selling and content management.

In the coming months Pantellos expect to add more facilities such as logistics and fulfillment, demand planning, financial solutions and trading community services.

Founding utilities of course expect Pantellos to provide a much more cost effective way of conducting business with their suppliers and expect to see significant opportunities for savings and “improvements throughout the industry”. Nor is it intended to be about aggregation and price transparency, but “making better decisions and improving competitiveness”.