Vattenfall has signed an agreement to sell its German lignite operations to a Czech energy company in order to help shift its operations towards more sustainable production
The company’s lignite interests will be sold to Czech EPH and its financial partner PPF Investments. Czech EPH is an established European energy group based in Prague, with operations in Western and Central Europe. Its activities range across gas transmission, power and distribution, gas storage, heat infrastructure and power and heat generation. PPF Investments is an international finance and investment group with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe and Asia.
The divestment represents a major step in Vattenfall’s shift towards cleaner energy but Germany itself remains a strategic growth market for the company. The sale includes all of Vattenfall’s lignite assets in Germany, consisting of Jänschwalde, Boxberg and Schwarze Pumpe plants, as well as Vattenfall’s 50 percent stake in Lippendorf. The deal also includes open cast mines at mines Jänschwalde, Nochten, Welzow-Süd and Reichwalde and the recently closed mine Cottbus Nord.
“Today we have signed an important deal for Vattenfall” said Magnus Hall, Vattenfall’s President and CEO. “This divestment of our lignite assets is good strategically but also financially given current and expected market conditions. We are now accelerating our shift towards a more sustainable production. The sale means more than 75 percent of our production will be climate neutral compared to about 50 percent today.”
Mr Hall added that the company wants to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions, which means it is the right thing to do as well as freeing up more resources to focus on renewable energy. Vattenfall is an international energy company with an ambition to be one of the leaders in the new energy landscape. This means it is important for the company to play an active part in Germany’s Energiewende. For this reason, Germany will remain an important market for Vattenfall, as it is not only one of the largest energy markets in Europe but also a frontrunner in the energy transition.
The deal will enable Vattenfall to reduce its carbon footprint from more than 80 million tonnes to less than 25 million tonnes per year. The company will henceforth focus on further development in wind, district heating, distribution networks and customer-centric energy services.
The finalisation of the deal is expected in a few months’ time, following confirmation by the owner and subject to relevant regulatory approval.