23 September 2002 – Duke Energy said on Friday that it had withdrawn from the German and Nordic power trading markets and planned to shut its offices in Stuttgart, Germany, as part of a review of its business.
North Carolina-based Duke, which on Friday cut its 2002 earnings estimates to reflect a depressed US power market, said earlier this week it was cutting staff in Europe where it employs 99 people, mostly in London.
Duke had also stopped selling energy to end-users in Germany but the company would continue trading power and gas in the UK, and power in France, according to a spokeswoman.
Last month the company bought a small power station in France.
In addition to Stuttgart, Duke’s European arm has smaller offices in Paris, Milan and The Hague.
Duke is the latest of several US traders to scale down European operations amid an industry-wide credit squeeze, triggered by last year’s collapse of market leader Enron.
Williams, hit by sliding credit ratings, is exiting Europe after just a year.
Aquila Energy, once a key trader in Europe, has quit energy trading altogether, and slumping credit ratings have forced Dynegy to scale back its involvement in Europe’s gas and power markets.