COMPANIES

Incoming RWE chief executive Peter Terium plans $1.3bn cuts

Incoming RWE chief executive Peter Terium’s plans for a further $1.3bn in cost cuts have been revealed in a document that specified IT and purchasing as two fields where costs could be saved.

“The (planned) improvement in results includes all segments of the company,” according to a paper drawn up by 48-year old Terium and obtained by Reuters on 6 February.

A spokesman for the company said earlier than RWE planned to extract an additional €1bn ($1.3bn) in savings on top of the €1.5bn already pencilled in for 2013 and 2014.

Terium, who is set to become CEO in July, presented the paper to RWE’s works council, reported Reuters. Decisions are planned for June, when the group’s senior managers will meet.

RWE said it would give an update on its savings programme at its annual press conference on 6 March. All changes will be made with RWE employees’ consent, according to the document

“In our view, the target exceeds market expectations both in terms of magnitude and timeframe,” UBS analysts told Reuters, upgrading the company’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”.

AMSC reports setback in Sinovel dispute

AMSC said a Chinese court dismissed one of its copyright infringement complaints against its former customer Sinovel Wind Group, sending its shares down as much as 6 per cent.

AMSC, which aims to recover over $1.2bn from Sinovel through civil cases filed in various Chinese courts, said it will appeal. “The Hainan court’s dismissal of our smallest case is not altogether unexpected,” said AMSC Chief Executive Daniel McGahn.

AMSC ended its relationship with Sinovel last year, although the Chinese firm provided nearly three quarters of its revenue at the time. It also sued Sinovel for intellectual property and violating a contract.

E.ON, Hydrocop joint French hydro bid

E.ON and Hydrocop Concessions, a group of eight energy distributors in France, announced a partnership on 6 February to bid for hydropower contracts if the French government opens the business up to competition.

France is preparing to launch tenders to renew concessions for ten hydro stations, opening up a sector dominated by EDF.

Bidding rounds were due to be made on a case by case basis between 2010 and 2013. But none of the tenders has yet been launched.

‘We have credibility problem,’ says Vestas as jobs are axed

Danish wind power company Vestas is to axe 2335 jobs as part of a radical reorganisation to streamline the firm and cut costs.

The job losses will be across the company’s operations worldwide, but 1300 will be in Denmark, said Vestas.

And the company has warned that a further 1600 staff in the US could go if current wind power tax credits that expire later this year are not renewed.

Vestas president Ditlev Engel said: “I am truly sorry that we have to say goodbye to so many skilled and loyal colleagues. The layoffs are one of many steps that we are now taking in order to bring down costs.”

Vestas wants to cut fixed costs by more than €150m ($196m) after costs over-runs last year wiped out its profits. It is also facing fierce competition from other players in the sector, not least from companies in China.

Engel said he could understand if “people outside of Vestas consider us to be in state of crisis”. He added the company had a “credibility problem” that was “not undeserved”.

E.ON gas business hit by low prices

E.ON continues to struggle with its weak gas business, and is paying its suppliers more for gas than it is getting from its customers, a board member of its Ruhrgas unit told Reuters.

“Currently, trading prices for natural gas are nearly as low compared to import prices as they were in early 2010,” Stefan Vogg told reporters on Wednesday, but declined to say whether E.ON’s gas business was loss-making.

“We will not say anything about results,” Vogg said.

E.ON, whose Ruhrgas unit is Russian Gazprom’s biggest European customer, will present annual results for the financial year 2011 on 14 March.

Alstom and SSE to develop world’s largest wave farm

Alstom and SSE Renewables have formed a joint venture to develop what they claim will be the world’s largest wave farm.

The 200 MW Costa Head Wave Project will be located about 5 km north off Orkney in waters of up to 75 metres deep.

Power at the site will be generated using wave converters developed by AWS Ocean Energy, in which Alstom holds a 40 per cent stake.

Alstom and SEE will initially install 10 MW of capacity.


Alstom: Philippe Joubert has resigned as deputy chief executive and power business president at the French transport and power engineering company. Joubert, 57, has been retained as an adviser to chief executive Patrick Kron on environment and sustainable development issues, said Alstom.

AVEVA: The firm has opened a new office in Genoa, Italy. The office will offer sales and support for all AVEVA’s products and solutions, and will host training courses and customer events.

E.ON: The German utility is to convert a 500 MW unit at a UK coal fired power plant to run on biomass. Work at the Ironbridge plant will begin next year and the company said it may decide to convert the site second unit as well. The unit will run on wood pellets from the US.

HMS Group: HMS Group will make and delivery specialist pumps for Baltic and Rostov nuclear power plants (NPP) in Russia. The Baltic NPP is being constructed in the Kaliningrad region and will comprise two generating units with total capacity of 2.3 GW.

Inter RAO: The Russian state-run power generator and exporter has said it may buy “more than one” plant from RWE AG to expand into Europe as the German utility sells assets to weather a withdrawal from nuclear energy.

Nordex: The firm has won a contract from Eolia Renovables to supply turbines for a project in the Spanish province of Tarragona. The company will deliver 12 N90/2500 turbines for the Barbers wind farm, which will have a nominal capacity of 30 MW.

Samsung: The firm is to base its first European wind turbine manufacturing operation in Scotland. The à‚£100m ($157m ) will build 7 MW offshore turbines.

Wärtsilä: The Finnish group is to buy UK engineering company Hamworthy in a à‚£383m ($599m) deal. Hamworthy provides equipment and services to the oil and gas sector.

Westinghouse: Toshiba company Westinghouse has signed a memorandum of understanding with Czech engineering group Vitkovice. Westinghouse is bidding to upgrade Temelin nuclear plant and if successful will order components and equipment from Vitkovice.

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