On 1st January 2016, Germany’s E.ON split its assets, and formed Uniper to take responsibility for conventional power and energy trading. Over 18 months on, its executives are bullish about the company’s prospects, particularly the potential of its power services unit.
Speaking at the fringes of POWER-GEN Europe (now Electrify Europe) in Cologne last week, Marketing Executive Jan Boers told Power Engineering International, “The reason we are here is to promote our energy services that we are selling alongside our gas and power. It’s a new development for our business and we are quite optimistic about it. There is a lot of knowledge within our organisation that can facilitate services for our clients with regards to the life cycle of any power station be that planning, construction, maintenance, even decommissioning.”
This emphasis on services, and the strength of Uniper in that particular niche is also advanced by Sabine Meixner, Uniper’s External Communications Spokesperson who said its customer proposition is based on very comprehensive engineering, asset management and operational expertise, as well as commercial and trading skills. She was keen to assert the company’s strong track record in power plant technology, and the implications of that, at a service level.
“Uniper is independent from any OEM and have no conflict of interests when consulting a customer in finding optimal solutions. We are more than a consultant, since our operational background and own assets mean our solutions have been tried, tested and work and we incorporate learnings from over 100 years’ operational experience.”
“Another key point about our offering is that we can act as a one-stop-shop provider, integrating technical consultancy and engineering with asset management & operations competences as well as the actual supply of commodities or energy marketing.”
“What is comparatively new, is that we are developing the energy services business proactively and consistently. Whilst the engineering and project management offering was always on the market, the additional focus on operations and maintenance contracts and the bundling with fuel and commodities supply is a new aspect we want to strengthen.”
“Uniper sees the service business as one important building block of the companies’ future in- and outside Europe. Especially outside Europe our first-hand experience with a changing energy industry, due to liberalization, decentralization and the rise of renewables, makes us an attractive partner for our customers.”
The company has suffered due to the challenges of the global energy transition, with some well publicized financial reports demonstrating the difficult terrain utilities are having to navigate. However, there is some evidence of a return to health.
Recent contract wins include: à‚
Full operation and maintenance contract for power stations in India, with Uniper’s JV partner India Power.
Several outage management contracts for UK power stations.
Major overhaul Turbine / Generator for Waste to Energy plant in Denmark.
EPCM for a gas compressor station in Southern Germany, for a gas transmission network.
Conceptual design for a new CCGT plant in Germany, for an industrial customer.
Decommissioning of a German nuclear power station (with a consortium partner).
Confidence in Uniper was indicated last month by a growing interest from investors, with the company citing a 74 per cent rise in shares since it was listed in September last year.