Vattenfall Invites Bidders in Sale of German Lignite Assets

  • Plants on offer include Boxberg, Jaenschwalde, Schwarze Pumpe
  • Sales process expected to last into next year, utility says

Vattenfall AB is inviting potential bidders to state their interest in its German lignite assets as the Nordic region’s largest utility seeks to adjust its portfolio of power plants to focus on renewable energy.

All its lignite generation and mining assets in Germany will be included in the sale, such as the Boxberg, Jaenschwalde and Schwarze Pumpe power plants and corresponding mines, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. The plants have a capacity of more than 8,000 megawatts combined, according to Vattenfall’s website.

Bidders can also make offers for 10 hydro plants with an annual revenue of about 200 million euros ($224 million) by Oct. 6, Solna, Sweden-based Vattenfall said in an invitation to submit interest published in today’s Financial Times. The hydro assets will not be sold separately and bids for those can only be made in conjunction with offers for the lignite assets whose divestment is “the primary objective.” The sales process is expected to continue into 2016.

“Vattenfall remains fully committed to its other business operations in Germany, such as district heating, electricity distribution, sales, trading and wind,” the company said.

Vattenfall, owned by the Swedish state, announced in October last year that it would seek to sell its German lignite mining and generation with annual revenue of about 2.3 billion euros to focus on renewables and cut carbon dioxide emissions. The company, under pressure from the Swedish government to exit coal-fired power generation in Germany, is facing sliding electricity prices in the Nordic region as well as several billions of kronor of writedowns related to its operations in countries from the Netherlands to Germany.

Vattenfall said in February that it’s willing to add about 3,000 megawatts of German hydropower plants to sweeten the deal for potential buyers.

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