Eon, Germany’s largest energy company, has decided to sell its Italian coal and gas generation assets to Czech energy company Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH).
In a press release, Eon says that “the activities that will be sold have a total generation capacity of approximately 4,500 megawatts. They consist of an approximately 600 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Sardinia (Fiume Santo) and approximately 3,900 megawatts of gas-fired power capacity across six power plants located on the Italian mainland and in Sicily. The transaction is subject to the approval of the European Union competition authority. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.”
Eon CEO Johannes Teyssen said: “Our conventional generation activities in Italy are high performing assets with a climate-friendly and diversified generation fleet. They are a key element of energy security in Italy and I am convinced that the new owner will continue to invest into the energy system of the country. We continue to assess a possible divestment of our other businesses in Italy as well.”
Daniel Křetínský, CEO of EPH commented: “We are proud to have the opportunity to continue Eon’s tradition in the conventional power generation in Italy. Our strategy is long term and development focused. We look forward to working on this goal together with employees, trade unions and other stakeholders.”
EPH is a vertically integrated energy group owning and operating predominantly regulated and contracted energy assets in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany and Poland. EPH describes itself as “a dominant player in the Slovak gas and electricity distribution industry, key transporter of Russian natural gas to the EU, number one gas storage provider in Centrral and Eastern Europe, the number one heat supplier in the Czech Republic, the third largest coal mining company in Germany, the second largest power distributor in Slovakia, power producer in the Czech Republic and Germany and hard coal miner in Poland.”
Eon’s divestment follows on the announcement early December of a new strategy focusing on distribution, renewables and “customer solutions” and a move away from traditional power generation. The strategy is a response to the European-wide “energy transition” that is driven by decarbonisation and high renewable energy targets.