Ensdorf power plant continues to produce power for Saarland

15 July 2011

Ensdorf, 15 July 2011. VSE, Saarstahl, Saarschmiede and RWE Power have reached agreements to ensure the continued operation of the power plant in Ensdorf after 2012.

The signing of the agreements was proceeded by lengthy negotiations supported by politics and the verdi trade union: the two chief negotiators Tim Hartmann, Member of the Management Board at VSE, and Dr. Klaus Harste, Chairman of the Management Board at Saarstahl, were unanimous in their praise for all participants: “We would like to thank all the participants who made this agreement possible.”

Saarstahl and Saarschmiede shall both become operators of Block 3 in Ensdorf. For this purpose VSE is acquiring Block 3 from RWE Power and then leasing it to Saarstahl and Saarschmiede. As operator of Block 1 in Ensdorf, VSE will continue to assume the management of the two blocks.

"By producing our own electricity we want to continue to safeguard the power supply for Saarstahl and Saarschmiede,” explains Dr. Klaus Harste. “The energy markets are becoming more and more unpredictable. However, reliability is crucial for us as a power intensive international company. Rising power costs in Germany translate into a real competitive disadvantage.”

Tim Hartmann as well views the cooperation as an essential contribution to maintaining the competitiveness of all participants and the power location Saar. “We have of course first offered this solution to our long-standing customers Saarstahl and Saarschmiede. With the proposed solution we are safeguarding highly qualified jobs and valuable know-how in the Saar region.” Through the selling of Block 3, RWE supported VSE in its efforts to implement a regional partnership concept that is important for the Saarland as an industrial location. Therefore, VSE is thankful to RWE Power for its willingness to encourage the plan.

“We are pleased with the solution that has been found. The agreement signed with VSE also permits options for joint developments at the location in the long term. Any investments, however, depend on the future general conditions relating to energy policies,” says Dr. Johannes Lambertz, Chief Executive Officer of RWE Power.

Extensive investments were already made in the past in the power plant. For the profitable further operation of the plant, adjustments to the workforce are also inevitable given the constantly changing market conditions for conventional power plants. Due to a new, market-induced operation mode and the use of imported coal the processes at the power plant have to be further optimised. “The adjustments that are currently planned are necessary to maintain the economic efficiency of the power plant and to offer the employees a perspective,” says Dr. Hanno Dornseifer, Member of the Management Board at VSE.

The participating companies herewith make a clear commitment to the Saarland as a business location. At the signing they emphasized that this Saarland cooperation opened further strategic possibilities for working together. The implementation in the coming weeks is subject to the proviso of the agreement of the respective supervisory bodies as well as the approval of the German Federal Cartel Office.