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By Anna Ringstrom
STOCKHOLM, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Swedish utility Vattenfall aims to sell its new coal-fired plant in Moorburg, Germany, some time in the next five years, its chief executive said on Monday.
State-owned Vattenfall earlier this year agreed to sell other, loss-making, lignite coal mines and power plants in Germany to Czech investor EPH, saying it would become one of the greenest utilities in Europe.
The decision to sell to EPH was criticised by environmental groups and was a blow to the Green Party, the smaller of the two parties in Sweden’s minority coalition government, which had pushed for the business to be phased out rather than sold.
Vattenfall Chief Executive Magnus Hall said on Monday he was open to also selling the Moorburg plant near Hamburg, which only launched commercially in 2015 and can generate around 11 terawatt hours annually, to a long-term investor.
“We don’t need to own Moorburg long-term. We can very well imagine other, better owners,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of the company’s capital markets day.
“We are still trimming the plant in so it is not on the table today, but it surely will be in the next five years.”
Vattenfall agreed in 2015 to phase out some production at its Janschwalde coal fired plant in Germany, citing regulatory and financial headwinds.
Hall said Vattenfall could also be open to phasing out production at its coal powered plant in the Netherlands.
“We don’t know exactly how it looks but we are open to such a discussion,” he said. (Additional reporting by Barbara Lewis; Editing by Alexander Smith)