RWE, Gazprom end power plant talks

Dec. 22, 2011 at 10:33 AM

ESSEN, Germany, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Germany energy company RWE announced it walked away from talks with Russia's Gazprom to build and operate power stations in Europe.

In early December, Alexei Miller, chief executive officer at Gazprom, met with RWE Chief Executive Officer Jurgen Grossmann at Gazprom headquarters in Moscow. The Russian company said the agenda included talks regarding establishment of a joint venture in the energy sector.

The companies in July signed a memorandum of understanding to team up for European gas- and coal-fired power technology. Gazprom had said RWE could get natural gas under competitive prices if they worked together on new power plants in Benelux countries, Germany and Great Britain.

Both sides argued, along with Germany's largest utility company E.ON, over gas prices. Gazprom links the price to oil, a mechanism the Germany companies had challenged.

RWE suffered recent economic setbacks in part because of a German decision to scrap nuclear power.

Both sides announced Thursday, however, that they would terminate talks on power stations.

"Although our discussions were conducted in a very constructive manner we were unfortunately not able to agree on a framework for cooperation which would be sustainable for both parties," Grossmann said in a statement.

Gazprom had no public comment available.

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