Vattenfall refocuses under new leadership

07 May 2014

Vattenfall has followed an announcement of plans to prioritise its research efforts with the appointment of Magnus Hall as CEO.

The Sweden-based generator cited challenging energy market conditions and lower revenues as provoking its decision to restructure research and development activities. Company head of R&D Nordic, Karl Bergman, said the exercise was not focused on reducing costs but on aligning its R&D efforts for maximum future benefits. "We are evaluating our research portfolio in order to invest in R&D projects which can contribute more quickly to our business development in the coming years," he said.

Its slimmed-down efforts will focus on smart electricity grids, wind, hydro, coal and nuclear power. R&D connected to coal-fired generation with carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be reduced to simple participation in knowledge exchange schemes, but research will continue on using coal as a 'regulator' to balance the intermittency of renewables in Germany. A number of offshore wind power and gas power R&D projects will be closed.

Vattenfall's nuclear R&D investments will continue to be centred on the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB)'s work to develop a final repository for used nuclear fuel, as well as on projects to ensure the safe and stable long-term operation of the company's nuclear power plants. 

Magnus Hall named as new CEO

The tough market situation for European power generators was highlighted by Magnus Hall as one of the key challenges facing the company in a press conference to mark his appointment as Vattenfall's president and CEO. Hall came from forestry and paper company Holmen, where he was president and CEO and one of Vattenfall's biggest electricity customers, and will take over from outgoing leader Øystein Løseth on 1 October.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News