Yesterday the supervisory board of RWE approved continued corporate restructuring to respond to “the massive transformation of the energy market in recent years, and in RWE’s core markets in particular”. To streamline operations the RWE AG holding company will be transformed effective 1 January 2017 into an operating company with which several German RWE subsidiaries shall be merged.
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The discussion on transferring provisions created by German nuclear power operators for nuclear power decommission liabilities to a state-owned foundation (Atomstiftung) is gathering momentum. Today’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) has an article with the headline “RWE on the way to becoming a state-owned group”, covering an upcoming presentation by Werner Müller. He is a former Federal Minister for Economics and Technology and since 2012 head of RAG Stiftung – which will finance perpetual mine management obligations related to coal mining.
According to several press reports, RWE AG has filed a lawsuit against the State of Hesse and the German Federation claiming damages because of shutdown orders issued in 2011 for its two nuclear power plant units located in Biblis, Hesse. Neither RWE nor the state of Hesse appear to have as yet commented on the amount of damages.
The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig (BVerwG) has dismissed appeals by the State of Hesse against two rulings by the Higher Administrative Court of Hesse that declared the preliminary shutdown orders for RWE AG’s Biblis A and B nuclear power plants during the nuclear power moratorium in 2011 unlawful.
In a judgement on RWE’s open lignite mining project in Garzweiler in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) strengthened the protection of persons affected by expropriation and resettlement. The approval of the framework operating plan (Rahmenbetriebsplan) for the Garzweiler opencast mine by the competent authorities, however, met the constitutional requirements. Hence, RWE is able to continue mining.
The Federal Court of Justice ruled that a utility is entitled to cut off the electricity supply of a customer who did not pay a bill in that included disputed electricity price adjustments.
After the announcement of E.ON to shut down power plants in Europe with a total capacity of 11,000 MW by 2015, the second largest German energy supplier is likely to follow. RWE plans to close plants with a total capacity of 3.100 MW in Germany and the Netherlands, with further cuts under consideration, as newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reports.
In its decision of 31 July 2013, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled that a standard gas price adjustment clause used by RWE in its general terms and conditions with special consumers (Sondervertragskunden) is invalid. BGH rejected the appeal of RWE, Germany’s second-largest energy supplier. The decision of the BGH follows a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice in March.
RWE is to be reimbursed by its gas supplier Russian Gazprom for payments made since May 2010 under its long-term gas supply contract with Gazprom, an arbitral tribunal ruled, RWE said in an ad-hoc statement made yesterday pursuant to the German Securities Trading Law (WpHG).
The State of Hesse has filed appeals against two recent rulings by the Higher Administrative Court of Hesse (Hessischer Verwaltungsgerichtshof) that declared the preliminary shutdown orders for RWE AG’s Biblis A and B nuclear power during the nuclear power moratorium in 2011 unlawful.