EnBW Doubles Asset Sales Target to Pay for Renewable Expansion

Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG, Germany’s third-largest power supplier, almost doubled its asset sales goal to free up cash to invest in renewables.

EnBW is seeking to raise as much as 3 billion euros ($4 billion) from disposals by 2020 compared with an earlier target of 1.6 billion euros by 2015, Chief Financial Officer Thomas Kusterer said today.

The utility wants to increase its share of renewables in its power mix to almost 40 percent in 2020 from 12 percent as it grapples with Germany’s exit from nuclear power. Onshore wind farm capacity will be boosted to 1,750 megawatts from 200 megawatts in 2012, the Karlsruhe, Germany-based company said today in a statement.

“The most important thing is to restore the competitiveness of our company” Chief Executive Officer Frank Mastiaux said today at a press conference in Stuttgart, the capital of the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Mastiaux, who took over from Hans-Peter Villis in October, is under pressure to sell assets and cut costs as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to exit nuclear energy by 2022 erodes earnings. EnBW, which counted on reactors for more than half of its output before the ruling, lost two of its four atomic plants in the first wave of shutdowns.

EnBW will invest more than 7 billion euros through 2020, earmarking 3.5 billion euros to wind energy and 3 billion euros in grids, it said.

The utility has forecast a 5 percent to 10 percent reduction in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization this year. EON SE and RWE AG are Germany’s biggest utilities.

The shares fell 3.5 percent to 28 euros in Frankfurt trading. The stock is down 18 percent in the past year.