DUESSELDORF/FRANKFURT, Nov 23 E.ON and RWE, Germany’s biggest utilities, could drop multi-billion-euro lawsuits against Berlin’s move to shut nuclear power stations if they get a favourable deal on decommissioning costs, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Germany’s utilities have seen their profits dwindle following the country’s gradual shutdown of its nuclear plants, a decision taken following Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011.
The decision has triggered lawsuits from the country’s top utilities, including RWE, E.ON and Vattenfall, which are claiming billions of euros in compensation for what they say is expropriation.
E.ON has said it is claiming 8 billion euros ($8.5 billion). RWE has so far not disclosed its claim, which Deutsche Bank analysts estimate at about 6 billion euros.
The sources said RWE and E.ON could transfer their stake in uranium enrichment company Urenco, in which they jointly hold a third on behalf of the German government, into the trust should it be set up.
RWE could also move nuclear plants, cash assets or even some of its equity to the trust, one of the people said, adding any asset transfer should happen over several years, ideally until 2022, when the last nuclear unit will be shut down.
“It makes a real difference whether this will happen over one year or seven years.”