• 4 minutes Mueller Report Brings Into Focus Obama's Attempted Coup Against Trump
  • 7 minutes Countries with the most oil and where they're selling it
  • 10 minutes Stack gas analyzers
  • 13 minutes What Would Happen If the World Ran Out of Crude Oil?
  • 2 hours US Military Spends at least $81 Billion Protecting OPEC Persian Gulf Oil Shipping Lanes (16% DoD Budget)
  • 3 hours Climate Change Protests
  • 3 hours Oil at $40
  • 3 hours "Undeniable" Shale Slowdown?
  • 6 hours U.S. Refiners Planning Major Plant Overhauls In Second Quarter
  • 5 hours China To Promote Using Wind Energy To Power Heating
  • 18 hours Mueller Report Brings Into Focus Trump's Attempts to Interfere in the Special Counsel Investigation
  • 40 mins How many drilling sites are left in the Permian?
  • 3 hours Gas Flaring
  • 14 hours Ecoside
  • 13 hours Japan’s Deflation Mindset Could Be Contagious
  • 3 hours Negative Gas Prices in the Permian
  • 1 day Trudeau Faces a New Foe as Conservatives Retake Power in Alberta
Alt Text

Investors Are Turning Their Back On Coal

Investors are increasingly looking away…

Alt Text

Could China Save The U.S. Coal Industry?

In a somewhat surprising move,…

MINING.com

MINING.com

MINING.com is a web-based global mining publication focusing on news and commentary about mining and mineral exploration. The site is a one-stop-shop for mining industry…

More Info

Trending Discussions

The Billion Dollar Bet On European Coal

 Sometimes one man’s trash can be another man’s gold.

Czech energy magnate Pavel Tykac is ready to spend 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) of his own cash on aging coal and gas-fired power plants across Europe. He’s betting the dirty generators will be needed for decades to supplement the green power that’s taking a bigger role at utilities from Germany to Britain.

“The media bubble around clean energy doesn’t reflect reality,” said Alan Svoboda, an executive director of Seven Energy, the utility and lignite miner owned by Tykac. “Our fundamental assumption is that these conventional assets will be needed in the near future to balance the grids.”

Governments across Europe are stepping up efforts to reduce pollution by phasing out coal use, unsettling the outlook for conventional power generators. RWE AG, Germany’s biggest energy producer, just added green generation assets to its fleet of coal plants in the utility industry’s biggest shakeup in years.

But as solar and wind power flood Europe’s grid, Tykac and his team reckon fossil-fuel plants are still needed to make up the shortfall in generation when the sun isn’t shining or the weather is calm. This situation may last another two decades, especially after Germany shuts all its nuclear power plants by 2022, Svoboda said in an interview.

Acquisition Trail

Tykac, the Czech Republic’s sixth-richest person, owns Seven Energy, which operates a 500-megawatt coal-fired plant, lignite mining operations and a 25-strong trading team that buys and sells commodities in Germany and other western European markets. Tykac wasn’t available to comment for this article.

Related: Russia Could Pull The Plug On The OPEC Deal

After losing a bid for the German lignite assets of Swedish utility Vattenfall AB in 2016, Tykac is looking at potential acquisition targets in countries from Germany to the U.K. and Italy. The aim is to close the first deal before the end of the year, Svoboda said, without disclosing specific targets.

In Germany, which still generates more than a third of its electricity from coal and lignite, large utilities may no longer want to commit the capital and resources to operate them, Svoboda said. Seven will be happy to take those assets off their hands.

There are risks. EU efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas output have prompted some nations to pursue legislation that would boost the cost of carbon emissions and make burning fossil fuels economically unattractive.

“To a large extent this risk is reflected in the price of these assets — that’s why they’re so cheap,” Svoboda said. “They still provide an interesting upside potential, even given the uncertainty.”

By Mining.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News