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Vattenfall and Berlin negotiate sale of district heating grid

Heizkraftwerk Lichterfelde

Swedish state-owned Vattenfall enters into exclusive negotiations with the State of Berlin on the sale of its district heating business in the capital.

A corresponding letter of intent was signed by both sides on Friday, as announced by the Berlin Senate and Vattenfall. "An agreement subject to the approval of the Berlin House of Representatives will be sought by the end of the year," the Senate statement added. The negotiating partners would not comment on the details of the ongoing process.

District heating for 1.4 million homes

Vattenfall had announced in May 2022 that it evaluating its district heating business for 1.4 million apartments in Berlin. The Berlin Senate subsequently expressed its buying interest and participated in the bidding process, which Vattenfall launched at the beginning of December 2022.

Constructive talks and common goal

The head of Vattenfall's heating business unit, Martijn Hagens, spoke of a constructive course of the talks with the state of Berlin. Both parties were pursuing the goal of developing a sustainable and future-proof heat supply in the city, decarbonizing it and securing jobs in the long term. "Our goal is a sustainable, secure and affordable heat supply for Berlin," Senator for Finance Stefan Evers (CDU) said of the agreement with Vattenfall. "The Senate wants to ensure this in perspective together with industrial partners."

More influence on the shaping of the energy transition

Senator for Economic Affairs Franziska Giffey (SPD) expressed a similar view. "This is the most important project of our energy policy in this legislature and an enormously important setting of the course for the future," she explained with regard to the intended deal with Vattenfall. The state of Berlin expects this to give it more influence in shaping the energy transition away from fossil fuels. According to the company, Vattenfall's heating business in Berlin employs around 1700 people.

Author: dpa/deepl.com
Publication date: 23 October 2023
Last updated: 23 October 2023

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