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RWE pulls out of nuclear sector and puts fossil fuel plants on hold

21 June 2012

On June 20, German utility RWE said it was permanently withdrawing from building nuclear power plants and has also put on hold any plans for new fossil-fuelled projects. RWE, which operates nuclear reactors in Germany and owns a stake in the Netherlands’ only atomic power plant, has already withdrawn from the Horizon project in the UK, a nuclear joint venture with E.ON.

RWE Chief executive-designate Peter Terium said the measures were a direct result of  Germany's energy policy, which he said had created great uncertainty
RWE Chief executive-designate Peter Terium said the measures were a direct result of Germany's energy policy, which he said had created great uncertainty

Chief executive-designate Peter Terium told journalists that the company is pulling out of nuclear because “the financial risk is no longer acceptable and is unreasonable for our shareholders”. Terium, who will take over as chief executive next month, said that decision was taken because of uncertainty over German energy policy.

RWE, which operates nuclear reactors in Germany and owns a stake in the Netherlands’ only atomic power plant, has already withdrawn from the Horizon project in the UK, a new nuclear joint venture with E.ON.

Today’s nuclear decision comes in the wake of the German government’s decision to close its nuclear power plants, which has hit the pockets of Germany’s nuclear operators, including RWE.

The plan to suspend until further notice any fossil-fuelled power plants is unexpected, and Terium said the freeze will stay in place until there is some clarity on the future of Germany’s energy regulatory framework. Further investment depends on the “future market design”, he added.

Germany’s energy policy – or Energiewende as it has become known – has increasingly come under fire from domestic players in the power market.


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