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Austrian power companies to merge

Austria’s largest producer and distributor of electricity Verbund and Styrian regional utility Energie Steiermark AG (Estag), yesterday announced it would merge power companies, Steweag and Steg – a consolidation brought about by the ongoing liberalization within the Austrian power sector. The two companies have also agreed to co-operate more closely within the Austrian market.

“The merger of a federal and a provincial company shows that solutions based on partnership are entirely feasible in Austria to the benefit of the domestic economy,” said Hans Haider, chairman of Verbund.

It is planned that the companies will merge their hydroelectric generation activities into Verbund-Austrian HydroPower AG (AHP). AHP will have production capacities of more than 5700 MW and an annual output of approximately 21 600 GWh from a total of 80 hydroelectric power plants. “Our co-operation is also a guarantor for securing domestic, environmentally friendly hydropower for Styria in the long term,” says Adolf Fehringer, Chairman of ESTAG.

In a further step the thermal power production capacities of ESTAG and Verbund will be merged into Verbund-Austrian Thermal Power AG (ATP).

The Styrian marketing and distribution activities of STEWEAG and STEG will combine to form STEWEAG-Steg GmbH. The amalgamation of the two largest Styrian electricity companies will give them a customer base over 500 000 and strengthen their position within the region.

According to the statement issued by Verbund, domestic considerations were not the only driving forces behind the amalgamation. Styria’s geographic position is a good starting point for expansion into the markets in southern and southeastern Europe said Verbund. For this reason ESTAG and Verbund will take a joint approach in the markets of Croatia and Slovenia.