CEO Wolfgang Anzengruber takes up duties
At the press conference on 14 January 2009, held at the Klub der Wirtschaftspublizisten in Vienna (Economic Writers Club), Wolfgang Anzengruber, the new Chairman of the Board of Verbund, states his position on topics like investment planning, authorization procedures and ongoing projects.
Verbund is planning to spend more than half a billion Euros in Austria this year, said Anzengruber. When questioned about subjects like Verbund’s possible participation in nuclear energy companies or "a Danube power station east of Vienna", the media were met with clear denials by 52-year-old Wolfgang Anzengruber.
Planning champions and implementation dwarfs
"Unfortunately we are champions in planning and dwarfs when it comes to implementation," said Anzengruber. "We have lots of brilliant ideas, yet, unfortunately, we cannot plan ourselves out of the crisis." What needs to be done is "to co-ordinate the ideas and then shift gears and get on with the implementation," said the new CEO. "Our projects are a stimulus to the economy, they ease up the energy situation and bring us another step forward towards reaching the Kyoto targets."
In Austria, authorization procedures take "unbearably long". It is not about calling the Environmental Impact Assessment into question, but "despite the EIA, it is simply impossible to please everybody. At the end of the day, politics just have to get to the point where they say: We’ll do it". Where nationwide infrastructure projects are concerned, the state should assume the responsibility for the procedures, said Anzengruber, agreeing with a proposal made by the Industriellenvereinigung (the Federation of Austrian Industry). The procedure should approximately take 15 months, as specified on paper.
The very controversial 380-kV line in Salzburg is one of those topics. Without the line, the new Verbund CEO is not willing to give the go-ahead for the hydroelectric power station project Limberg III because without the line the distribution of the generated electricity could not be ensured.
Anzengruber firmly believes in the expansion of "new renewable energy sources" (e.g. biomass, solar power, wind) and also in the need to get a grip on rising energy consumption by higher efficiency and other measures, however: "For the foreseeable future, we will not be able to do without fossil energy sources."
As for Verbund’s international activities Anzengruber states that the investment plan and strategy is going to be further developed and realized. The international joint ventures - as for example Enerjisa in Turkey - have been most successful up to now. Anzengruber is committed to continue this success story.