Italian utility Enel has launched a program to sell its holdings in Slovakia and Romania including its 66% stake in Slovakian utility and nuclear operator Slovenské Elektrárne.
Slovenské Elektrárne is Slovakia's main power generator, with a market share of close to 80%. The company's 5700 MWe generating portfolio includes three of the country's four nuclear units, two 472 MWe units at Bohunice V2 and two 436 MWe reactors at Mochovce. All are Russian-designed VVER pressurized water reactors. Construction began on two further units at Mochovce in 1986 and resumed in 2008 after a 16-year hiatus. Mochovce 3 and 4 had been expected to start up in 2012-2013, but are currently not expected to start up until 2015. Slovenské Elektrárne's 2013 revenue was €2.9 billion ($3.9 billion), according to Enel.
The Romanian assets involved in the sale comprise interests in electricity distribution and grid companies Enel Distribuie Muntenia and Enel Energie Muntenia, which posted joint revenues of €1.1 billion ($1.5 billion) in 2013.
Divestment of its Romanian and Slovakian assets is part of a €6 billion ($8 billion) asset sale begun by Enel in 2013 to reduce the group's financial debt. Income from the latest round of sales, which will also include unspecified non-strategic assets, is expected to contribute in excess of the €4.4 billion ($6 billion) target remaining after the €1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) raised to date.
Italy has not operated a nuclear power plant since 1990, but in more recent years had again been looking towards nuclear power to contribute to the country's generating capacity but these plans were rejected in a referendum in June 2011. Although nuclear continued to feature in Enel's international activities, the company terminated its interest in French EPR projects, including a 12.5% stake in the Flamanville 3 plant in 2012. Enel's remaining nuclear intersests are through its 92.06% holding of Spanish utility Endesa, which in turn owns interests in five of Spain's seven operating nuclear units at Almaraz, Ascó and Vandellós.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News