ATP: New Structural Program
Today the supervisory board of VERBUND-Austrian Thermal Power GmbH & Co. KG, the thermal-electric power subsidiary of the VERBUND group, adopted a new, multi-year structural program to stabilize the company in the liberalized European power market in the long run.
The program includes the shutdown of thermal power plants that have become unprofitable, the discussion on the construction of a new CCGT in the south of Austria, and a socially acceptable reduction in personnel by the year 2008.
The structural program includes plans to use the 330 megawatt brown coal-fired power station Voitsberg/Styria as standby operation from mid-2006 on, and the 120 MW hard coal-fired power station of St. Andrä/Carinthia from mid-2004 on. Continuing the operation of both power plants is not economically reasonable in the present economic environment.
In Voitsberg the brown coal extraction will be ended in 2004; the power station will process the coal extracted by that time. Changing to hard coal or adding the use of biomass would even increase the economic losses, which would run into double figure millions; also, the subsidies granted by the EU for the operation would have to be paid back, if the power plant were not shut down. In St. Andrä the idea of using harmless waste as fuel, which would offer a chance of minimizing the operating loss, has met with disapproval both on the regional and on the provincial level.
The ATP program also includes the outline of a social plan for approximately 180 employees who will be placed in other sectors of the VERBUND group or downsized on the basis of socially acceptable measures in the years to come. ATP has approximately 400 employees at present.