Vattenfall creates new wind division

SWEDEN: Vattenfall is to create a new wind arm as part of a major restructuring of the energy firm.

Vattenfall is a major player in offshore wind
Vattenfall is a major player in offshore wind

Wind has been picked out as one of the six new business areas key to the company's future. The new structure will replace Vattenfall's regional setup.

Gunnar Groebler, currently head of the renewables business for Vattenfall's continental/UK region, will head the new wind division from 1 April, when the new structure will be put in place.

The newly created unit will cover both offshore and onshore wind in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. The Swedish utility is one of the largest developers of offshore wind, with an installed capacity of 831MW and a pipeline of 9.6GW.

This restructuring is part of an ongoing, wider review of the group's strategy, which has seen the company move away from traditional generation towards renewable energy.

Further to this, Vattenfall said that its lignite mining and generation operations will be organised in a separate unit reflecting its ambition to find new ownership for this business.

The greater investment in wind has been spurred by poor financial performance in recent years. It clocked up a post-tax loss of €1.31 billion in the first nine months of 2014, only a slight improvement on the €1.67 billion post-tax loss for the same period in 2013.

Low wholesale electricity prices, prompted by over capacity in generation and sluggish demand across the continent, are cited as the main cause.

The other business areas created in the restrucuring are heat, customers and solutions, distribution, generation, and markets.

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