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Steag GmbH emerges as potential buyer

World Coal,

Steag GmbH has emerged as a potential buyer for Swedish utility Vattenfall’s German lignite power assets.

Reuters reports that the head of German energy sector trade union BCE said it would be "not unreasonable" for German power firm Steag to show interest in buying lignite coal power assets Swedish utility Vattenfall has put up for sale in Germany, less than two weeks after Steag said it was not in talks.

Michael Vassiliadis, head of the union representing workers in the mining and energy sectors said Steag has the necessary competence and enjoys a good reputation in the energy sector, although he could not judge the company's interest in or chances of buying the assets.

Vattenfall wants to sell the assets by year-end and it is estimated that the group’s German lignite assets could fetch up to €3 billion (US$3.4 billion).

Last month the Rheinische Post newspaper had reported that Steag, Germany's eighth-largest utility by sales, was interested in the assets and that its CEO Joachim Rumstadt had held initial talks, prompting Steag to say it had not put out feelers.

Czech energy groups CEZ and EPH have expressed interest in the lignite plants and mines. But uncertain German energy policy is a concern and the addition of hydropower would offer greater stability for future revenue.

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