NRG Energy has announced that it is currently considering an expansion of its power interests in Germany.

The company, which already holds a 41.1 per cent stake in the 960MWe lignite-fired plant at Schkopau near Leipzig, has a second lignite project near Zeitz in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, and is considering a further project at this site.

This second plant in Saxony-Anhalt would have a generating capacity of 400MWe and would burn fuel from a nearby mine which is currently one third owned by NRG. The mine has its own generation units which have a generating capacity of 233MWe.

The second stage of the Saxony-Anhlat project is still in a preliminary stage. If it proceeds, then construction is likely to start in the year 2000, with commercial operation scheduled for the year 2003.

NRG Energy has said that it is attracted to greater involvement in Germany because of the possible phasing-out of nuclear power by the German government, combined with the increased deregulation of the power industry, which will create room for new generating capacity. In addition, the gradual removal of government subsidies on the production of hard coal for power generation will make lignite a more competitive fuel source.

NRG Energy has announced that it also hopes to expand its presence in the UK, the Czech Republic and Estonia.