Electric Giant E.ON to Sell Supply Network | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 15.05.2008
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Electric Giant E.ON to Sell Supply Network

Germany's biggest electricity company, E.ON, has confirmed plans to sell most of its power distribution network in Germany to mollify European Union competition watchdogs.

Power lines

Some have said that power companies should both produce and deliver

Also on Wednesday, May 14, E.ON identified a batch of stations generating 4,800 megawatts which it plans to sell in the vast transaction to begin later this year.

The investor buying the transformers and 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) of high-tension lines criss-crossing Germany does not have to be an electricity company. The spin-off business would earn its revenues from charging for use of the lines.

The German government and competitors have been riled by E.ON's sell-off plans. Earlier, Berlin had argued it was essential that a single company both generate power and deliver it to the gates of cities.

E.ON said in Dusseldorf its supervisory board had approved the sell-off, which was announced in February.

The company is to finalize the proposal by the end of this month. E.ON chief executive Wulf Bernotat said it would achieve a "constructive" settlement of EU competition charges against E.ON.

The generating capacity up for sale will mainly be in the form of part-investments in coal-burning power plants in Germany, but would also include fixed-price rights to 1,500 megawatts from two German nuclear sites, Gundremmingen and Kruemmel.

The company said that after its anticipated settlement with the EU this autumn, it would have one year to sell the generating capacity and two years to sell the reticulation network.

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