Uniper has signed an agreement with Saale Energie GmbH (Saale Energie), a subsidiary of the Czech Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH), for the sale of its stake in the Schkopau lignite-fired power plant in Saxony-Anhalt. Uniper is the operator of the power plant and holds a stake of about 58 %. Saale Energie already holds a stake of around 42 % in the Schkopau power plant and will take over Uniper's stake with effect from October 2021.

On 30 January 2020, immediately after the publication of the coal exit law by the German government, Uniper presented an ambitious roadmap for the phase-out of its own coal-fired power generation in Germany. The coal exit law provides for the Schkopau lignite-fired power plant to run until the end of 2034. With the sale of its stake in the Schkopau power plant, Uniper in Europe will also withdraw completely from lignite-fired power generation.

Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of Uniper: "With the sale of our stake in Schkopau power plant, we are consistently implementing our ambitious plans to decarbonize our portfolio. I am very pleased that together with our joint venture partner we have found a solution for the site that not only makes sense for us strategically and economically, but above all offers the power plant's employees a perspective for the future.”

In addition to the power plant stake, Saale Energie will take over the operational management and operation of the Schkopau power plant from Uniper, including the Uniper employees, with effect from October 2021. Completion of the transaction is still subject to the approval by the German Federal Cartel Office.

David Bryson, COO of Uniper, said: "We are delighted that these negotiations have been successfully concluded. On the other hand, we will also part company with around 150 qualified employees and part of our history. We have been producing electricity in Schkopau for a good 25 years and maintain reliable partnerships with industrial customers and the local economy. We will continue to focus on our customers’ needs during this period. One thing is quite clear for us: Until the complete takeover of the site by our joint venture partner, we will continue to be a reliable and responsible employer for the highly qualified and committed team on site and will work hard to ensure their smooth transition.“

With a net capacity of around 900 MW, the Schkopau lignite-fired power plant is an important component of central Germany's energy supply. It not only supplies electricity for public supply, but also energy for a neighbouring chemical park and for Deutsche Bahn. The power plant converts up to six million tonnes per year of  lignite into electricity and process steam.