Verbund interested in French hydroelectric plants

Austrian electricity provider Verbund wants to buy hydroelectric plants in the Pyrenees and the Alps in France, firm General Director Wolfgang Anzengruber said today (Fri).He said Verbund would compete for licences for plants operated by EdF and GdF-Suez that would be newly issued. Verbund would be interested in obtaining 10 per cent, or 5,000 MW, of their production, he added.At the same time, he said Verbund was considering stopping production of electricity by its money-losing French subsidiary Poweo since a two-year delay in liberalisation of the market meant it had to sell electricity for 15-to-17 per cent less than the cost of production to its 450,000 customers.Verbund lost 42 million Euros in 2009 through its 46-per-cent interest in Poweo.Anzengruber also called for expansion of hydroelectric plants in Austria to help the country reach its environmental and climate-protection targets. He noted Verbund had invested 1.7 billion Euros in ongoing power-plant projects.The Verbund chief also noted the need for 200,000 E-autos in Austria by 2020.