German government to step in on Vattenfall sale

A document has emerged, indicating Germany’s intention to persuade Swedish utility Vattenfall not to sell its lignite power plant portfolio.

Reuters reports that the leaked internal position paper shows that Germany's economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel, is due to fly to Stockholm to discuss the sale of the company’s lignite coal-fired power plants, although no date for the talks was disclosed.
Sigmar Gabriel
Chancellor Merkel’s deputy is to argue that "A breakup of this group as well as excessive price expectations would endanger the security of employment and the sustainability of the operating units," according to the document.

"I am sure that the Swedish government and Stefan Lofven are aware of their responsibilities," he said.

Last month, Vattenfall's new chief executive Magnus Hall said the company might put its lignite power plants and mines in Germany up for sale. This could fetch up to 3 billion euros, according to people familiar with the industry.

Vattenfall generates about 10 per cent of Germany's total power production and said it remains committed to other operations in Germany, including heat production, trading and wind power.

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