June 17, 2012 / 4:51 PM / 6 years ago

RWE says won't build any new nuclear plants

DUESSELDORF, Germany, June 17 (Reuters) - RWE AG, Germany’s second-biggest utility, is abandoning plans to build new nuclear power plants outside its home market, where the government decided last year to phase out nuclear power.

“We will not invest in new nuclear power plants,” incoming Chief Executive Peter Terium said.

Like E.ON and peer EnBW, RWE has been hit hard by the German government’s decision to phase out nuclear power generation, forcing it to reinvent itself by shedding assets and tapping new growth areas such as renewable power.

“We can no longer afford the financial risks and the surrounding conditions for nuclear power plants,” Terium, who is due to take the top job on July 1, said.

Three months ago, RWE and E.ON pulled out of a 15 billion pound ($23.5 billion) plan to build new nuclear power stations in Britain.

The companies said at the time that Germany’s sudden decision to phase out nuclear power, the high running costs of their Horizon joint venture and the long lead times required for nuclear plants resulted in the decision to sell the venture.

RWE also owns a stake in a nuclear power plant in the Netherlands, and Terium said there were no plans to add more plants there.

Dutch utility Delta and its partners EDF and RWE earlier this year postponed plans to build a second nuclear power plant in the Netherlands because of the poor investment climate and low electricity prices.

Terium said RWE would continue to operate its plants in Germany until their planned shut-down.

$1 = 0.6393 British pounds Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Maria Sheahan

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