German utility EnBW eyes partners, efficiency drive

BERLIN Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:23am EST

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BERLIN Jan 22 (Reuters) - EnBW, Germany's No.3 utility, will seek new partnerships and focus on innovation and becoming more efficient to cope with the country's shift in energy policy away from nuclear power, its new chief executive said.

Frank Mastiaux, who took over the top job at EnBW on Oct. 1, has given himself 100 days to evaluate the group's structure and come up with a strategy to set it up for the future.

"To me it is clear that the company has to change significantly," he said at the annual Handelsblatt Energy Conference.

Mastiaux will hold a press conference on Feb. 11 to explain expected changes at the group.

Along with larger rivals E.ON and RWE, EnBW has been dealt a massive blow by Germany's decision to abandon nuclear power by 2022.

As part of that move, which followed Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, 40 percent of Germany's nuclear capacity was immediately shut down, including two reactors operated by EnBW.

Mastiaux said he saw partnerships as an "essential part" of the group's strategy.

"And this refers to partnerships as we know them as well as partnerships in an unconventional form," he said, without elaborating further.

Before joining EnBW, 48-year-old Mastiaux worked for energy groups including BP and E.ON, where he led the group's renewable operations and international expansion efforts.

EnBW is 46.75 percent-owned by the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Another 46.75 percent is owned by nine of the state's municipalities, while just a small fraction of its shares trade freely on stock markets.

($1 = 0.7510 euros) (Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Mark Potter)

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