Germany to help regions, employees, companies affected by coal exit - gov't spox

BERLIN, Jan 16 (Reuters) - The German government said on Thursday that energy-intensive companies who compete internationally can get an annual subsidy from 2023 to compensate for higher electricity costs caused by a planned coal exit law.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement that Berlin would also pay compensation to employees affected by the coal exit law until 2043.

The government will pay up to 14 billion euros ($15.61 billion) in financial aid to the affected states of Brandenburg, North-Rhine Westphalia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt until 2038, the spokesman said. Berlin would take further measures worth up to 26 billion euros to help brown coal regions until 2038 at the latest.

The loss of adjustable energy sources caused by the coal exit should be replaced by 2 additional natural gas-powered plant capacities at existing plants, for example at Jaenschwalde in Brandenburg, the spokesman added. ($1 = 0.8969 euros) (Reporting by Michael Nienaber Editing by Michelle Martin)