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Divided we stand

Germany's new power grid agreement is designed to aid competition, but has drawn criticism from the European Commission and foreign companies active in the market.

Making the switch

With some of the most competitive electricity markets in the world, the Nordic markets have seen low levels of customer switching. There are various reasons for this, ranging from the meter requirement in Sweden, to the convergence of prices. As a result, suppliers have had to refine marketing strategies to attract new customers and encourage switching.

A marriage made in heaven

As deregulation in the power and natural gas markets takes hold, convergence of these two industries is becoming a reality. A perceived advantage for players embracing this trend is reduced risk, but what does it mean for competition and the consumer?

Romania

Conel has awarded an Alstom-led consortium a euro45m ($47m) order to refurbish a 210 MW oil fired power station at Braila on the River Danube. Alstom, Fortum Engineering and Itochu will supply new turbines and an instrumentation and control system, and will refurbish both boilers at the plant.

Kymijarvi passes the gasification test

A power plant consisting of a gasifier connected to a large conventional boiler offers an attractive and efficient way of using local biomass sources for energy production. Such a plant has been operating in Lahti, Finland, for a year. PEi looks at how it has performed so far.

Finland:

Energy group Fortum has asked the newly appointed government to clarify its stance on nuclear power. The company said that it welcomed the government`s statement that it was open to many options for Finland`s future, but that it needs a clearer sign on whether it supports the construction of a new nuclear reactor.

Privatization delay

Volatile stock market conditions have led the government to delay the part-privatization of Fortum, the company formed by the merger of Neste and Imatran Voima Oy. The sell-off of a 20 to 25 per cent stake was expected to raise FM7bn ($1.4bn). It is not clear how long the delay will last.

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