Preussenelektra facts and figures, Chairman's report

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According to Preussenelektra, Germany's second largest utility, the extra cost of buying wind power in 1996 amounted to around DEM 230 million, DEM 70 million more than in 1995. Chairman Hans-Dieter Harig also says that installed wind capacity in his utility's supply area increased 200 MW to 1100 MW in 1996. Over the same period, wind power delivered to the grid in the same area increased by 40% to nearly 1.8 billion kWh, or 2.1% of the utility's sales in the area.

Preussenelektra registered a 6.9% increase in overall power sales in 1996 to 105.3 billion kWh, mainly due to the cold weather and the rise in its exports to Scandinavia. Lack of rain in Norway and Sweden had led to a shortage of hydro power. Preussenelektra's turnover was down 2.9% to DEM 15.4 billion in 1996, after a 3.6% cut in prices at the beginning of 1996. Profits, however, were still up by DEM 800 million on the previous year to reach DEM 1.86 billion.

The company appears to have a large surplus of generating capacity, with 19,453 MW available to the group made up of 16,000 MW of its own, 2,515 MW from jointly owned power stations and another 1,000 MW of firm contracted supplies. The peak load registered in Preussenelektra's supply area in 1996, however, was only slightly more that 9,000 MW.

The Hannover-based company, part of the giant Veba Group, has a firm grip on the power sector in most of northern and middle Germany through its shares in nine regional utilities which supply customers from Flensburg down to Frankfurt/Main. In eastern Germany, too, it has considerable influence through its 26.3% share in major generator Veag, of Berlin, its stakes in five regional utilities with supply areas stretching from the Baltic Sea to well south of Berlin, and a small share in a regional utility supplying the Thüringia area further south.

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