RWE welcomes rearrangement of responsibilities related to financing the German nuclear phase-out
RWE welcomes the decision of the German Parliament (“Bundestag”) and Senate (“Bundesrat”) regarding a new law rearranging the responsibilities for nuclear waste management in Germany.
“The legislative authorities have taken a very important decision regarding the nuclear phase-out in Germany. We really appreciate this necessary clarity on future structures and respon-sibilities related to nuclear waste management. It will give us the ability to make reliable plans for the future.”, explains Rolf Martin Schmitz, Chief Executive Officer of RWE AG.
The law declares that operation, decommissioning and packaging of nuclear waste will remain the responsibility of the companies operating nuclear power stations. The responsibility for intermediate and final storage will be transferred to the German state. In order to finance these tasks run by the German state, the energy companies will transfer 23.5 billion Euros into a public-law fund which has yet to be installed. This sum includes a so called risk premium of 35.47 per cent. RWE estimates the overall costs to our company to amount to 6.8 billion Euros. The law further states that the payment of the basic amount into the fund will be due on 1 July 2017 but interest will be charged from 1 January 2017. The risk premium will be charged interest from 1 July 2017 and needs to be paid into the fund by the end of 2022 at the latest.
“We are fully committed to our liabilities to phase out the nuclear power stations in Germany and we have established the necessary provisions. But the allocation to reserves and especially the high risk premium are putting a heavy burden on our company. Nevertheless, with the successful IPO of innogy, we see ourselves able to pay the basic amount when it is due on 1 July 2017 and we are also investigating whether we can do the same for the risk premium.”, explains Markus Krebber, Chief Financial Officer of RWE AG.“
It is good to now have legal clarity on what we will be facing regarding intermediate and final storage of nuclear waste and that we will not have to bear further liability risks arising from possible future political decisions regarding final storage,” said Krebber.
The law also includes an enabling clause for the German government to close a public-law con-tract with the energy companies. With this contract, both parties can further substantiate details and establish legal confidence. German Bundestag and Bundesrat have expressed that they expect the energy companies to withdraw pending lawsuits relating to nuclear energy.
“We await constructive contract negotiations. With regards to the suggested expectations for withdrawal of pending lawsuits, we need to protect the interests of our shareholders and comply to the regulations of stock corporation law. We have already made this clear to political decision makers.”, Rolf Martin Schmitz elaborates.
The European Commission needs to approve the law before it can come into effect.