Thursday, September 22, 2016

Brown coal: EU approves sale of Vattenfall’s lignite business TIME ONLINE

The last hurdle for the Transfer of the Vattenfall brown coal division in Eastern Germany to the Czech EPH group is taken: The EU antitrust authorities have no objections against the transaction. There was no competition concerns, the EU-Commission. The proposed merger will not have a negative impact on the market for the mining and delivery of lignite. The Swedish government had approved the sale of the lignite business of the state group in July.

The EU antitrust authorities justified their permission for the Deal, the market share of EPH increases by the Lusatian only slightly. “The new company will continue to see significant competition from RWE, the market leader in this sector,” informed the competition authorities.

Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall said after the decision in Brussels that they had assumed in advance that the transaction will be allowed, but now you have the confirmation and was very happy. Vattenfall is separated from the climate-damaging fossil energy carriers, among other things, to focus on renewable energies.

operates with The Swedish company in Lusatia in Brandenburg and Saxony, four mines and several coal-fired power plants. The Region is the second largest lignite mining area in Germany. About 8,000 people work in the industry, additional jobs are going to come about in suppliers.

EPH wants to take over the collective agreement

The Handing over to EPH in the coming weeks planned. The new owner of the mining company Mibrag, with its seat in Saxony-Anhalt Zeitz, in Germany already. The new company is to have its headquarters in Cottbus. Wanted to specific decisions how to do it, make a speaker. EPH had promised in the summer to take on the Vattenfall collective agreement, the operational rules out any redundancies before 2020.

At present, Vattenfall headquarters in Lusatia, the city, the message from Brussels was received with joy. The overall Chairman of the works Council of Vattenfall Europe Mining, Rüdiger Siebers, said: “There was applause.” You’ve waited a long time. “Now that we have planning security.”

Brandenburg’s Minister of Economics, Albrecht Gerber (SPD), was pleased: “After nearly one and a half years of ongoing uncertainty thus for the workers in the lignite industry as well as in the supply and service companies finally re-calculable conditions.” His Saxon counterpart, Martin Dulig (SPD), said the same. Of the EHP group he expect you to stand by your responsibility for the entire Region.

environmental groups criticize the sale

criticism came from the Green parliamentary Deputy Anna Lena Baerbock. The sale reflected the European and German speaking environment objectives, she said. At the same time they demanded of the Federal government, “finally, an amendment to the mining law, to submit the new days excluding build, and provisions for mining damage”.

The environmental organization Greenpeace has demanded that the regional governments in Brandenburg and Saxony, the follow-up costs for the Decommissioning of coal mines transparent to calculate, and then bankruptcy so as to ensure that the taxpayer could not be prosecuted. Greenpeace had opposed the sale: “Up at the very latest by 2030, Germany will have to get out of the coal. Both will leave with EPH as an Investor not to implement,” said Greenpeace spokesman Karsten Smid.

Previously had also called for well-known climate scientists, to stop the sale. He could threaten the success of the Paris climate Treaty, wrote the Institute’s Directors Hans Joachim Schellnhuber from the Potsdam Institute for climate impact research (PIK), Johan Rockström from the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Will. Steffen from the climate Institute, the Australian National University in Canberra in a joint statement


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