Ending Lignite Chapter in Europe: Uniper Transfers Its Shares in Schkopau Power Plant to Saale Energie

Uniper transferred its shares in the Schkopau power plant near Halle/Saale and thereby the last participation in a lignite-fired power plant in its European portfolio. The transfer is in line with the company’s strategic objective to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired power generation as far as possible and to become climate-neutral in Europe by 2035. Around 150 highly skilled employees will find a new employer in Saale Energie.

The agreement on the sale of Uniper’s stake of around 58 percent has been signed in February last year. Saale Energie is a subsidiary of the Czech Energetický a Průmyslový Holding a.s. (EPH), headquartered in Prague, and has already held a stake of just under 42 percent in the power plant since 2012. Saale Energie is now acquiring all Uniper’s shares and will thus become the sole owner of the power plant.

With a net output of around 900 megawatts, the Schkopau power plant in southern Saxony-Anhalt is an important cornerstone of Central Germany’s energy supply. It supplies not only electricity for public supply, but also energy for the neighboring chemical park and for Deutsche Bahn.

“For 25 years, the Schkopau power plant has been a guarantor for the reliable supply of energy to our customers, Deutsche Bahn, the Schkopau Chemical Park and the people in Central Germany. Today, the operational management of the power plant, together with around 150 highly qualified employees, have been transferred to Saale Energie. I would like to thank all employees at the site for the great work they have done for our company. They have thus made an invaluable contribution to a stable economy in Saxony-Anhalt and a secure supply of electricity in the center of Germany immediately after German reunification,” Uniper board member and Chief Operating Officer (COO) David Bryson said.

“The Schkopau power plant not only feeds electricity into the 50Hz extra-high voltage grid, but also supplies up to 6 percent of Deutsche Bahn’s German electricity demand. The neighboring chemical industry is supplied with electricity, process steam and fully desalinated water around the clock. In purely mathematical terms, the cities of Halle, Düsseldorf and Hamburg could be supplied with electricity from Schkopau alone! I am proud of a great team that has experienced many upheavals and has always responded quickly and reliably to challenges. And I’m sure that with this team, the power plant will remain a firm pillar of energy supply in Saxony-Anhalt under the new management,” Uniper power plant manager Arne Köhler added.

Uniper is an international energy company with around 12,000 employees in more than 40 countries. The company plans to make its power generation CO2-neutral in Europe by 2035. With about 35 GW of installed generation capacity, Uniper is among the largest global power generators. Its main activities include power generation in Europe and Russia as well as global energy trading, including a diversified gas portfolio that makes Uniper one of Europe’s leading gas companies. In 2020, Uniper had a gas turnover of more than 220 bcm. Uniper is also a reliable partner for municipalities, public utilities, and industrial companies for developing and implementing innovative, CO2-reducing solutions on their way to decarbonizing their activities. As a pioneer in the field of hydrogen, Uniper is active worldwide along the entire value chain and is implementing projects to make hydrogen usable as a mainstay of energy supply.

The company is headquartered in Düsseldorf and currently the third-largest listed German utility. Together with its main shareholder Fortum, Uniper is also the third-largest producer of CO2-free energy in Europe.

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