Vattenfall CEO Sees Slight Delay of German Lignite Sale to EPH

Vattenfall AB said it may not be able to complete the sale of its German lignite assets to Czech utility Energeticky a Prumyslovy Holding AS by the end of August as originally planned because the European Commission probably won’t approve the transaction by then. 

“There are no real issues, but it’s not progressing in a very speedy manner,” Vattenfall Chief Executive Officer Magnus Hall said in a phone interview on Thursday. “It now looks more like it will be approved in the fall.”

The Swedish government-controlled utility agreed to sell its lignite assets in Germany in April because it wants to focus on renewables and cut its exposure to fossil fuels. EPH, which already operates other lignite mines and power stations in Germany, said it expects the unit to become profitable as the country winds down its nuclear industry over the next six years and electricity prices start to recover.

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