VERBUND, Austria’s leading electricity company and the largest producer of hydropower in Styria, and the Styrian supplier, Energie Steiermark, are simplifying their reciprocal shareholdings and therewith giving new power to the energy turnaround in Styria. VERBUND will in future hold approx. 80% of VERBUND Thermal Power and Energie Steiermark will hold around 20 %. Energie Steiermark is buying back VERBUND shares in its power subsidiary STEWEAG-STEG and will in future own 100 % of this company. During the course of this transaction, Energie Steiermark will pay some 250 million euro to VERBUND. STEWEAG-STEG will continue to obtain an important part of its required electricity from VERBUND. The companies therewith remain important partners in the electricity and district heating business.
The two companies have agreed that VERBUND will relinquish the minority interest of 34.57 % in the distribution company STEWEAG-STEG to the parent company Energie Steiermark and, in return, will take over approx. 14.7 % of STEWEAG-STEG shares in VERBUND Thermal Power GmbH & Co KG, as well as some 14 % of Energie Steiermark shares in VERBUND Thermal Power GmbH. Formal decisions will be reached on Wednesday concerning Energie Steiermark’s shares in VERBUND Thermal Power.
Following the transaction, VERBUND will therewith hold 80 % of VERBUND Thermal Power GmbH, and Energie Steiermark will hold 20 %. VERBUND will subsequently have a 76% shareholding in VERBUND Thermal Power GmbH & Co KG, and Energie Steiermark will have a shareholding of some 20 %; the remaining approx. 4 % will be held by various minority shareholders from the Austrian energy industry. All transactions are still subject to approval under competition law. The clear majority position reinforces the strategic orientation and deciding power of the two companies. At the same time, both companies subscribe to a cooperative partnership in the supply of electricity and district heating in Styria and the joint construction or operation, respectively, of hydropower plants on the Mur.
VERBUND is the largest producer of hydropower in Styria
Some 400 of VERBUND’s total workforce of 3,000 are employed in Styria and, with 41 hydropower plants, it is Styria’s largest producer of electricity from hydropower. The run-of-river power plants on the rivers Mur and Enns or large reservoir power plants, such as Sölk and Arnstein, annually generate as much renewable electricity as is consumed by all of Styria’s private households together. The hydropower portfolio will be supplemented by three thermal power plants, including – in Mellach - what is currently Europe’s most modern combined cycle gas turbine power plant. In the area of hydropower alone, the past years have seen VERBUND investing several hundred million euro, part of which has flowed directly into Styrian industrial contracts in the hydro technology sector (construction of turbines and transformers) and in value creation for Styria. Thus, the new city power plant has been built on the Mur in Leoben, Styria’s most powerful reservoir power plant has been expanded to the tune of 100 million euro on the Enns in Hieflau and, in Pernegg, the more than 80-year-old Mur power plant is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment.
In total, VERBUND is realising a hydropower investment programme in Styria amounting to more than 400 million euro.