Electrabel and the Rome-based utility Acea SpA have signed a memorandum of understanding for the creation of a joint venture to generate and sell power. The new venture will comprise four companies – a holding company, a generating company, a sales company and a trading company.

All of Acea’s existing power generation assets will be transferred to the new generating company. This comprises 230 MW of thermal generation and 140 MW of hydro capacity. The joint venture also intends to develop new generation assets. Acea’s existing 1.5 million electricity customers will gradually be supplied with power by the joint venture as they become eligible under liberalisation of the Italian electricity sector. Customers with consumption of between 1GWh and 20 GWh annually are immediately eligible.

The main operations of the joint venture will initially focus on the Rome region but the company hopes eventually to expand into other parts of Italy. Electrabel already operates a 356 MW combined cycle power plant in Rosignano. It is also involved in a joint venture called Alpenergie Italia with the Swiss company eos and has obtained permits to construct a new power plant at Voghera in northern Italy where construction will start later this year.