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05 Feb 2021, 13:50
Charlotte Nijhuis

Moorburg coal plant halved Vattenfall's profits before decomissioning

Tagesschau / Clean Energy Wire

The modern coal plant Moorbug owned by Swedish energy company Vattenfall had turned into a liability before it was decommissioned in the context of Germany's coal phase-out, causing a drop in profit by almost 50 percent, public broadcasting news service Tagesschau writes. Vattenfall experienced a drop in profits of nearly 50 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, with higher costs to finance Moorburg's CO2 emissions in the European emissions trading systems (ETS) meaning it was generating a loss. The company’s annual profit was at a low of about 7.7 billion kronor (763 million euros) in profits last year, compared to 14.9 billion kronor the year before, according to a company a press release. The plant in the northern city of Hamburg was taken off the grid at the beginning of 2021 as part of the German coal exit. "The loss in value of coal-fired power is a natural development, but had a strong negative impact on Vattenfall's financial results in 2020”, the company’s CEO Anna Borg said.

Vattenfall aims to quit coal production by 2030 and become completely climate-neutral in the next two to three decades, according to Tagesschau. At the Handelsblatt Energy Summit last month, Borg said Vattenfall wants to build offshore wind farms in Germany. She considers Germany a “core market,” but struggles with the framework conditions in the country. At the Moorburg site Vattenfall, together with Shell, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and municipal heat supplier Wärme Hamburg, plans to produce green hydrogen made with wind and solar power.

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