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E.ON Belgium not interested in bidding for strategic reserve

08 Apr 2014 18:38:03 | edem

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E.ON Belgium is not interested in participating in the newly proposed 800MW strategic reserve with its 385MW Vilvoorde gas-fired power plant, the company confirmed on Monday.

Last week the Belgian federal ministry for energy approved the creation of a 800MW strategic reserve to be set aside for a period of three years ( see EDEM 4 April 2014 ).

Local media hinted to the possibility that E.ON Belgium had applied for the reserve, revising the planned closure of its 385MW Vilvoorde gas-fired power plant which has not been producing electricity since spring 2013.

However, E.ON Belgium has no intention to change its decommissioning plans for the Vilvoorde plant, “unless the government obliges us to do so,” a company spokesman said on Monday.

“The details of the [strategic reserve] plan that the energy ministry approved last week are not clear yet, so we are still waiting to see the specifications of the project,” explained the spokesman.

“Nevertheless, the possibility to apply with our Vilvoorde plant is not of interest to us,” he added.

A spokeswoman for the Belgian federal ministry for energy said she could not confirm whether the ministry will require E.ON or any other company to apply for the scheme.

The gas-fired Vilvoorde plant is one of two plants owned by E.ON in Belgium. The second facility is the 556MW Langerlo coal-fired plant, which is planned to be converted into a 506MW biomass facility by 2016.

The government decision to create a three-year capacity reserve came a few days after an unplanned outage at two nuclear reactors with a 2GW combined installed capacity boosted prompt prices in the French power market ( see EDEM 31 March 2014 ).

However, the energy ministry clarified last Friday that the reserve would have not been activated had it already existed last week, as it is intended for power shortages only. Riccardo Patrian

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