Czech Vattenfall deal may falter on government’s strategy

CEZ’s bid to acquire Vattenfall’s lignite coal-fired power plants hinge on the German government’s ultimate planFranzjosef Schafhausen, the Environment Ministry's Director-General for Climate Policy.s for the fuel source’s phase-out.

The Czech company have been lobbying the government for assurances that it won’t phase out coal power until 2050.

It’s a guarantee Germany can’t give, according toà‚ Franzjosef Schafhausen, the Environment Ministry’s Director-General for Climate Policy.à‚ 

“No one can give that kind of assurance,” Schafhausen said Wednesday in an interview in Berlin. While Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks has said that a 25-year time frame is feasible, “she’s been very careful not to name a year,” he said.

CEZ is interested in Vattenfall’s operations as “coal is still crucial for the overall energy supply” in Europe, but their bid may depend on the lignite units staying open through 2035-2050 as a “bridging technology,” Chief Executive Officer Daniel Benes told reporters in Prague this week.

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