Christoph's Feed
Jul 3, 2012

Gazprom bows to European client price pressure

FRANKFURT, July 3 (Reuters) – Russia’s Gazprom has
given in to customer pressure and offered German utility E.ON
a price cut on its long-term gas supplies, boding
well for other firms from Germany, Italy and Poland seeking to
renegotiate.

Germany’s biggest utility said on Tuesday it had reached a
settlement with Gazprom on long-term gas supply contracts that
would significantly raise its earnings outlook for 2012.

Jun 14, 2012

Centrotherm left in the cold by finance problems

FRANKFURT, June 14 (Reuters) – The crisis surrounding the
German solar power industry deepened on Thursday with equipment
maker Centrotherm saying it could no longer use
existing credit lines and was talking to its banks, a day after
smaller peer SolarWatt filed for insolvency.

Shares in Centrotherm, the world’s second-biggest maker of
production equipment for solar panels and photovoltaic cells,
fell as much as 40 percent to an all-time low of 3.08 euros per
share, a far cry from the record high of 69.68 euros per share
reached in November 2007.

Jun 13, 2012

China’s solar elite warns duties will hurt everyone

MUNICH, June 13 (Reuters) – China’s top solar companies have
warned that any punitive action against Chinese cells and
modules in Europe would hurt the industry as a whole, suggesting
such a move would intensify the current trade war and keep the
industry from lowering costs.

Tension between Chinese and western solar groups reached a
new peak after the United States imposed duties of 31 percent on
solar panel imports last month, ruling in favour of local firms
that accused Chinese firms of price dumping.

Jun 1, 2012

Analysis: In solar: go big, boutique or bust

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Solar companies could be well advised to look to chip makers to figure out how to survive a sector shake-out, as the consolidation of the semiconductor industry suggests it is all about either being big and basic or small and selective.

Following insolvency filings in the past year that have included six heavyweight solar companies in Germany and the United States, industry experts and analysts say those players who can boast neither scale nor specialization look doomed.

May 22, 2012

Dealtalk: RWE DEA assets face hard sell

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – RWE’s (RWEG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sale of assets from its oil and gas exploration unit DEA may prove complicated but could fetch up to 1.25 billion euros ($1.6 billion) and ease the pain of a fast-track nuclear exit by Germany’s No.2 utility.

RWE is giving high priority to its DEA disposals as part of a wider streamlining programme that also includes Czech gas transmission system NET4Gas, RWE’s stake in water utility Berlinwasser and selected plant capacities.

May 22, 2012

RWE DEA assets face hard sell

FRANKFURT, May 22 (Reuters) – RWE’s (RWEG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) sale of assets
from its oil and gas exploration unit DEA may prove complicated
but could fetch up to 1.25 billion euros ($1.6 billion) and ease
the pain of a fast-track nuclear exit by Germany’s No.2 utility.

RWE is giving high priority to its DEA disposals as part of
a wider streamlining programme that also includes Czech gas
transmission system NET4Gas, RWE’s stake in water utility
Berlinwasser and selected plant capacities.

May 10, 2012

German solar elite gain from strong demand surge

FRANKFURT, May 10 (Reuters) – Strong demand ahead of steep
cuts in sector subsidies gave Germany’s battered solar industry
a respite in the first quarter, with the country’s two biggest
players beating profit expectations.

Germany’s bellwether SMA Solar benefited from
customers rushing to buy solar technology ahead of cuts in
subsidies and posted first-quarter net profit of 29.6 million
euros ($38.3 million), significantly more than analysts had
forecast.

May 10, 2012

RWE further reduces exposure to high import prices

FRANKFURT, May 10 (Reuters) – RWE, Germany’s No.2
utility, said it has further reduced its exposure to previously
agreed high import prices and is on target to be free from
crippling gas losses after 2012 at the latest.

The company said it was conducting price reviews with its
gas suppliers and had already received compensatory payments for
some contracts, the last one of which was in April.

May 4, 2012

Solar woes hit Wacker Chemie, Centrotherm

FRANKFURT, May 4 (Reuters) – Wacker Chemie and
Centrotherm, showed the effects of a solar industry
shake-out, with earnings and margins coming under pressure as
falling government incentives for solar power and cheap Asian
rivals squeeze western peers.

Wacker Chemie – the world’s second-biggest maker of
polysilicon, a key component needed to make solar cells – said
profit margins at its polysilicon unit fell significantly in the
first quarter due to high raw material costs and low selling
prices.

Apr 12, 2012

E.ON waste burning ops could be tough sell-sources

FRANKFURT, April 12 (Reuters) – E.ON’s waste
burning unit could be a hard sell due to overcapacity in the
industry, according to banking and industry sources who revealed
early bids of 1.2-1.5 billion euros ($1.6-$2.0 billion) but
expect them to be revised lower.

U.S.-based Foster Wheeler, Singapore’s Sembcorp
, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, Swedish private
equity group EQT, German construction group Papenburg and German
utility MVV have all placed tentative bids within
that range for E.ON’s Energy from Waste unit, investment banking
sources said.

    • About Christoph

      "I'm responsible for the coverage of German renewable companies, mainly solar, at Reuters News. Previously, I have worked as a correspondent at Thomson Financial News, covering German technology and construction companies."
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