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[cdn-nucl-l] Germany closing non-nuclear power plants
25 August 2000
E.ON Pulling Plug On Non-Nuclear Power Plants
Germany's newly-formed power giant E.ON is preparing to close down a number
of its power plants to cut operating costs and reduce generating
However, despite plans by Germany's Red-Green coalition government for a
nuclear phase-out, E.ON intends to concentrate on closing non-nuclear power
plants. The move, which is expected to lead to the loss of up to 2600 jobs,
was outlined by E.ON Energie chairman Hans-Dieter Harig, whose comments
about the utility's future can be downloaded in German from the company's
Web site at www.eon-energie.de/presse/cont4_1.htm.
Now the head of the nuclear and hydro power plants division of E.ON's
Bayernwerk subsidiary, Dieter Brosche, has confirmed the company will target
fossil-fuel and hydro power plants and not nuclear sites.
Prof. Brosche, speaking during a visit to the Czech Republic's Temelin
nuclear power plant, said: "The liberalisation of the market caused a
drastic drop in electricity prices, which means that many power plants
operate at the edge of economic profitability. My own company has to decide
to produce electricity or import it from abroad. Another important factor is
whether we can produce it as cheaply as it can be bought abroad."
Prof. Brosche said that, although Bayernwerk had recently commissioned a
lignite power plant in eastern Germany, "the next step is the
decommissioning of uneconomical power plants".
"For example, we decommissioned a coal-fired power station with an output of
300 MW in the north of Bavaria because the cost of buying and transporting
coal did not make it profitable to run the plant. The first power plants to
close will be these smaller ones, and also some hydro plants, because their
operating costs are too high."
He also highlighted the environmental dilemma caused by Germany's
anti-nuclear stance. He said: "Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said recently
that it will be necessary to build coal-fired plants and, in the same
breath, that CO2 emissions must be reduced by 25% by 2005. I really do not
know how the two can be achieved together. If nuclear plants stay in
operation we can make it - but without nuclear, the goal is unachievable.
"We certainly do not plan to shut down operating nuclear power plants. I
personally believe in the renaissance of nuclear engineering in Europe... I
cannot see a country that would want to follow Germany," he said, adding
France's existing nuclear power plants would remain operational because the
country would not turn its back on such an "advantageous" provider of
US utilities continue to successfully apply for extensions to operating
licences for nuclear power plants - and reduce operating costs.
In Sweden, there is increasing support for keeping Barsebäck-2 running while
Finland is considering building a new nuclear plant.
Mr. Brosche, who was visiting Temelin under the Czech-German nuclear
co-operation agreement, said the "modern" plant had safety levels comparable
to those of European plants. Click here to view NucNet's news feature on
Temelin nuclear power plant.
25 August 2000
German utility closing down non-nuclear plants.
The newly-formed utility E.ON, now Germany's largest, is to close down a
number of uneconomic smaller power plants, all of which are coal-fired or
hydroelectric rather than nuclear. E.ON operates 12 of the country's nuclear
plants and also holds 36% of Sweden's Sydkraft, owner of Barseback-2, which
was threatened with closure by that country's government. However, recent
announcements suggest that as in Germany, the nuclear plant's closure has
been deferred indefinitely.
ENS NucNet news # 275 & 281/00, business news # 80 & 96.