17 Jan 2002 – Vattenfall’s grouping of German energy companies, which it claims will be a new force to challenge the domination of RWE and E.ON, is to be called “Vattenfall Europe”, said Vattenfall’s President and CEO Lars G Josefsson today. The name replaces the “Neue Kraft” working title for the holding company although the names of the four constituent companies will be retained, with the addition “a company in the Vattenfall Group”.

The group is made up of Berlin utility Bewag, Hamburg utility HEW, eastern German power producer Veag and coal merchant Laubag. Bewag’s involvement in the venture was unclear until co-owner Mirant elected to sell its interests to Vattenfall last year.

In a statement Josefsson said, “The name Vattenfall Europe does not designate a geographical operating area but underlines participation in the work of achieving the Group’s vision that Vattenfall shall be a leading European energy company.”

Separately, Bewag announce that its chairman, Dietmar Winje, would be resigning his post at the end of January, despite having a contract due to run until September 2004.

“Prof. Dr Dietmar Winje, will leave the company at his own request and by mutual agreement with effect from 31 January 2002”, Bewag said.

During his eleven years on the management board, Dietmar Winje steered Bewag through the consolidation of the western and eastern parts of the company in the 1990s, full privatization of the company and electricity market liberalization.

Dr Bernd Balzereit who is responsible for Finance and Networks on the Bewag Management Board will assume the duties so far performed by Dietmar Winje on an interim basis.