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RWE chief seeks changes to EU emissions regime

14 August 2002 – RWE chairman Dietmar Kuhnt has hit out at the EU’s proposals for an emissions trading scheme which he says discriminates against power producing companies which have already taken steps to reduce CO2 emissions.

He issued a warning yesterday that his company would cancel a new power plant, which would create 4000 new jobs, unless the European commission made significant changes to its planned environmental regime.

RWE, which owns Thames Water and recently acquired Innogy, is about to commission a new lignite power plant in Germany that it says emits 2.9m tonnes of CO2 a year less than the plant it is replacing, has plans for a second to be built by 2008. Kuhnt said that investment in the second stage of the plant would not go ahead if “if its profitability is jeopardised by unreasonably stringent sanctions or carbon dioxide penalties.

“This could be the case if the EU implements the plans it has for carbon dioxide certificate trading without making the adjustments required by several constituencies.”

RWE yesterday reported a rise of 9 per cent in first half operating profits up to€2bn. Profits from its four core business areas rose by almost a quarter but the overall results were dragged down by the non-core, business-service stations and refining, printing equipment and construction.

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