Germany to pay nuclear operators 2.6 billion euros for plant closures

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Reuters | 5 March 2021

Germany to pay nuclear operators 2.6 billion euros for plant closures

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The German government has agreed to pay four nuclear operators nearly 2.6 billion euros ($3.1 billion) in compensation for forcing them to shut their nuclear plants early in response to the Fukushima disaster, ministries said on Friday.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily reported on Thursday that a sum of 2.4 billion euros will be made available from the general budget, citing government sources.

This excluded an additional sum of 181 million euros for Swedish state-owned Vattenfall specified by the environment, finance and economy ministries on Friday.

The affected companies aside from Vattenfall are the German listed utilities RWE, which will get 880 million euros, E.ON, which will get 42.5 million euros, and mainly publicly-owned German EnBW, which will get 80 million euros.

Vattenfall said it will get an originally reported 1.425 billion euros plus compensation for sales of production rights by Vattenfall to E.ON worth 181 million euros, arriving in total at 1.606 billion euros.

“This is a conservative implementation of the court decisions in Germany that in the end is acceptable to us,” Vattenfall Chief Executive Anna Borg said in a statement.

Vattenfall agreed to end pursuing a separate damages claim in the World Bank’s ICSID arbitration tribunal in the United States.

E.ON in a statement and EnBW’s head of nuclear, Joerg Michels, in an unrelated call with reporters, also welcomed the deal.

A German Constitutional Court ruling in November had found in favour of the companies in their complaint that the government’s previous offers had not gone far enough.

The court called for a speedy settlement of the dispute, which was mainly pursued by Vattenfall.

The court had already ruled in 2016 that while the nuclear phase-out was legal, the operators needed to be better compensated.

The overall agreement will be transformed into a contract over the next few days after which it will be presented to the German parliament to prepare for passing relevant legislation.

It is subject to European Union Commission confirmation that it does not constitute state aid.

source: Reuters