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EON Says Fate of German Gas Plant Irsching-5 Still to Be Decided

The future of EON SE’s three-year-old gas-fired plant Irsching-5 in Germany is still undecided as the owners and the country’s grid operator and regulator wrangle over whether to close the loss-making facility.

“We are currently in constructive talks with the grid operator and the responsible authority,” Fabienne Twelemann, a spokeswoman for Dusseldorf-based EON, said in an e-mailed statement today. “We are aiming for a swift solution” and further talks are scheduled for later this week, she said.

Germany’s biggest utility wants compensation for keeping the 860-megawatt facility open. Grid operator Tennet and the nation’s regulator are seeking to ensure supply security after the closing in 2011 of three nuclear plants in southern Germany where Irsching-5 is located. The plant’s owners led by EON met for talks with Tennet and the regulator today.

The country’s renewable energy boom means reduced running times at stations fired by relatively expensive natural gas, which fueled 11 percent of the Germany’s power output last year. German gas-fired plants make a loss of 20.33 euros a megawatt-hour based on power, gas and emissions prices for next month, the lowest since Bloomberg started calculating the so-called one-month clean spark spread in October 2009.

EON owns 50.2 percent of the Irsching-5 plant in the southern German state of Bavaria. N-Ergie AG, a utility in Nuremberg, Germany, owns about 25 percent, while Frankfurt-based Mainova AG holds about 16 percent, and HSE AG, a Darmstadt, Germany-based power supplier, owns about 9 percent.

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