March 15, 2017 / 4:29 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Polish energy company Enea still interested in EDF local assets

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WARSAW, March 15 (Reuters) - Poland’s state-run utility Enea said on Wednesday it could still buy EDF’s local power assets as part of a consortium even though it has just purchased Engie’s Polaniec power plant in southern Poland.

Enea finalised the 1.26 billion zlotys ($310.02 million) deal to buy the coal-fuelled Polaniec power plant on Tuesday.

“We are in the project (to buy EDF assets). If we find it a good business then we will uphold our willingness to take a part in it,” Miroslaw Kowalik, Enea’s Chief Executive Officer told a conference.

Enea and three other state-run companies - PGE, Energa and PGNiG are also negotiating to buy power and heating assets from EDF.

EDF’s Polish assets include a number of heat and electricity generation plants as well as a 1.8 gigawatt coal-fuelled power plant in Rybnik in southern Poland.

Polish energy minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski, also speaking at the conference, said that it was too early to talk about whether and how to split EDF assets between the Polish companies. This could be decided after a deal was concluded, he said.

Tchorzewski also said new investors, like the Australian fund IFM, which had previously been interested in EDF cogeneration plants, could join the Polish consortium after the deal is concluded.

Both EDF and Engie decided to sell businesses in Poland as part of plans to quit coal and focus on low-carbon energy.

The purchase of Polaniec will make Enea the second biggest power producer in Poland after PGE, with production of 22.1 TWh.

Enea’s Kowalik said the company financed the Polaniec deal mostly from its own cash, showing that the company is in a strong financial position. Enea is also considering investing in coal mine group KHW.

In 2016 revenues at Engie’s Polish business amounted to 2.5 billion zlotys and its operating profit was 269 million. This compares to Enea’s 2016 revenues of 11.3 billion zlotys and operating profit at 1.1 billion.

On dividends, the CEO also said that Enea had not changed its policy. A decision on a dividend payout on 2016 results is to be published on March 30, he said. ($1 = 4.0643 zlotys) (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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