FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German utility RWE RWEG.DE wants compensation from the government for phasing out coal power generation to be paid out as quickly as possible, it said on Friday.
“RWE wants to ensure that the contract negotiated with the government can be signed immediately because (the) first power plant closures are to take place at RWE as early as the end of the year, unlike at other operators,” a company spokeswoman said.
Germany’s lower house of parliament is expected to approve the relevant bill next month.
The bill pledges to pay out 50 billion euros ($59 billion) to help mining companies, power plant operators and affected regions cope with Germany’s transition to more renewable energy. The country has committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels.
RWE is due to receive 2.6 billion euros for the phased closure of its brown coal mines and power stations.
Earlier, the Spiegel magazine’s online edition reported RWE wanted to revisit the deal to start receiving the funds as Czech peer Leag continued to question the package, according to Spiegel.
However, the spokeswoman said RWE was fully behind the deal.
While phasing out coal generation, RWE is expanding in renewable power where it became Europe's third-largest player after an asset swap deal with rival E.ON EONGn.DE.
Leag said in a statement that it, too, expected a quick completion of the bill by parliament, and wanted to stress that it had been in agreement with the details.
Both companies said they are keen that early state pension benefits for workers over the age of 58, who are affected by layoffs, are enshrined in separate regulations now being planned in Germany in relation to the exit from coal.
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Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Mark Potter and Susan Fenton
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