Following the purchase last week by Vattenfall of Mirant’s 44.8 per cent stake Bewag AG, the Berlin utility said today it plans to immediately negotiate its integration into the “Neue Kraft” grouping – aimed at establishing a third powerful energy entity in north-eastern Germany.

A Bewag spokesman said, “HEW and Vattenfall are to immediately start talks with Bewag on the company’s integration into the “Neue Kraft” group”.

Bewag had been involved in the initial discussions about establishing the new force after it was announced in April. Although Mirant withdrew Bewag’s participation on 26 September, the door was always left open for the company’ later participation. “Bewag has always made it clear that it wants to co-operate with the companies of the “Neue Kraft”, said the spokesman.

Buying Mirant’s stake in Bewag doubles Vattenfall’s holding in the Berlin utility to 89.6 per cent and 92 per cent of voting rights.

Bewag has in recent years developed into one of the most profitable and efficient companies of the German electricity market following a restructure of the company and realignment of its core business.

The “Neue Kraft” aligns the German energy interests of Vattenfall, Bewag, Veag, Laubag and Hamburg utility, HEW. The group seeks to challenge the dominance of E.On and RWE in the provision of power and other services.