E.ON to invest EUR 18.7 bn over next three years

Dec 17, 2004 01:00 AM

German utility E.ON Group plans to invest a total of approximately EUR 18.7 bn ($ 24.8 bn) over the next three years. The E.ON Supervisory Board approved the 2005-2007 investment plan at its meeting.
At just under EUR 12.6 bn, the majority of capital expenditure will be on property, plant, and equipment. Key investment areas include modernizing and maintaining power and gas networks and building environmentally friendly power generating facilities.

E.ON said it will invest a total of more than EUR 1 bn in renewable energies. Investments in financial assets of roughly EUR 6.1 bn will go primarily toward increasing E.ON's interests in existing shareholdings in its target markets and toward enlarging its shareholdings in natural gas production in order to further enhance security of supply.
The Central Europe market unit, which is managed by E.ON Energie and operates an integrated electricity business and a gas distribution business, plans to invest EUR 6.8 bn during the planning period, ofwhich EUR 5.9 bn is earmarked for property, plant, and equipment.

The investment focus is on power generation and the expansion of the company's transmission and delivery network in order to continue to maintain a high level of supply security. Projects include the construction of a new coal-fired power plant and a new gas-fired power plant.
Investments in financial assets of roughly EUR 0.9 bn will go mainly toward increasing equity interests in existing shareholdings in Central and Eastern Europe. The largest single investment will be the acquisition of a majority interest in ZSE if the Slovakian government exercises its put option. The investment plan also includes the acquisition of majority interests in two electric distribution companies in Bulgaria and the purchase of additional shares to obtain majority stakes in two gas distribution companies in Hungary.

The Pan-European Gas market unit, managed by E.ON Ruhrgas, will invest approximately two-thirds of planned capital expenditure of EUR 4.3 bn in the acquisition of shareholdings. The largest single investment is the shareholding in the gas business of MOL, a Hungarian oil and gas company. This market unit also plants to expand upstream operations in order to increase proprietary production as a share of overall procurement. EUR 1.4 bn will be invested to expand gas transport and storage infrastructure.
Following the successful integration of the TXU distribution business and Midlands Electricity, the UK market unit will invest primarily in the upgrade of its distribution network and in generation assets. The plan includes the construction of an environmentally friendly gas-fired generating unit at Grain power station and also of wind power and biomass generating facilities.

E.ON UK's planned capital expenditure totals EUR 2.8 bn. The Nordic market unit's capital expenditure in the Scandinavian target market will total EUR 3.7 bn. EUR 2.2 bn alone is earmarked for the acquisition of additional shares in Sydkraft if Statkraft, a minority shareholder in Sydkraft, exercises its put option as assumed. Investments in property, plant, and equipment are aimed at boosting the efficiency of generating facilities and upgrading the distribution network.
The US Midwest market unit's planned capital expenditure totals EUR 1.2 bn. Investments include projects to implement environmental protection measures and to start construction of Trimble County 2, a modern 750 MW coal-fired power plant.

The investment plan contains projects that are sufficiently probable from today's perspective. Planned capital expenditure on property, plant, and equipment and financial assets will be fully financed with cash provided by operating activities. E.ON's strong financial situation gives the company the flexibility to carry out additional growth initiatives if they make strategic sense and create value.
E.ON CEO Wulf Bernotat stated: "Our investment plan is fully in line with our long-term corporate strategy. We're making targeted investments to increase our shareholdings in Central and Eastern Europe, and at the same time we're making substantial investments to help secure the supply of energy for our customers. We're also planning to build new, environmentally friendly power plants, to upgrade our power and gas networks, and to increase our ownership interest in natural gas production."

Source: PennWell Corporation
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