Uniper mulls reassembling German power plants in Britain - FAZ

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German utility Uniper UN01.DE may dismantle German power plants, reassemble them in Britain, and could even buy stakes in British gas power stations, Chief Financial Officer Christopher Delbrueck told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

FILE PHOTO: The flag of Uniper SE flutters in front of the utility's firm headquarters previously used by German utility giant E.ON in Duesseldorf, Germany, June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

Energy utilities are struggling with a German government decision to switch off nuclear power plants by 2022 in a market which is burdened by overcapacity and lacklustre profitability. The British market is less burdened with such oversupply, creating opportunities for Uniper, Delbrueck said.

“It may be worth it to disassemble some of the plants and to rebuild them in Great Britain. We need to do the maths on that carefully,” Delbrueck told the Saturday edition of German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The unpredictability of energy market regulation makes investments in new German plants difficult, he said, but this is not the case in Britain.

“In a couple of years I think taking stakes in new gas power stations in Great Britain is a possibility,” Delbrueck told the paper.

Uniper is interested in diversifying its business internationally, particularly in the energy trading business and may spend a triple-digit-million amount on acquisitions.

One way to fund takeovers is to sell off minority stakes in gas infrastructure investments.

“There are some activities where we hold minority stakes, without having a strategic interest. Such financial stakes could be divested,” Delbrueck told the paper.

As part of an international diversification strategy, Uniper has made a 280 million euro (255 million pounds) payment towards Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, said Delbrueck.

Erstwhile parent E.On EONGn.DE, which split off parts of Uniper last year, has signalled it will sell off a further 47 percent in Uniper stake in 2018. Delbrueck said "a diversified placement on the market" would be his ideal scenario for the fate of the stake.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Ros Russell