Frank Mastiaux

Energy Boss Bids for Bankrupt Wind Farm

Frank Mastiaux ENBW Source Andy Ridder for Handelsblatt
EnBW chief Frank Mastiaux has a lot of persuading to do.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    • Traditional power companies like Engery Baden-Württemberg, EnBW, are facing huge challenges with Germany’s nuclear phase-out and transition to renewable energies.
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  • Facts

    Facts

    • EnBW still produces 43 percent of its electricity with nuclear power.
    • Over the next five years, it wants to invest €3.5 billion, or $3.85 billion, to expand its renewable energy offerings.
    • EnBW offered €550 million for wind-farm operator Prokon.
  • Audio

    Audio

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No German energy producer is still as dependent on nuclear power as Energie Baden-Württemberg, or EnBW. That could soon change. The company’s chief executive, Frank Mastiaux, hopes to take a big step toward renewable energy with a €550 million, or €605 million, offer to take over Prokon, the bankrupt wind farm operator.

But first he must convince environmentally conscious investors who want to keep Prokon independent. Mr. Mastiaux, 51, worked in the area of renewable energy at rival Eon before joining EnBW in October.

Handelsblatt: EnBW wants to take over Prokon, a bankrupt wind energy company. What’s the incentive? 

Frank Mastiaux: Prokon operates 54 wind parks in good locations with a capacity of about 540 megawatts. They could provide power for 380,000 households. In addition, Prokon has 170 projects in development that could add over 4,000 megawatts. That would be a good fit with our portfolio.

Which is more than what EnBW has.

Yes, currently we have 200 megawatts in operation and an onshore pipeline of more than 2,600 megawatts. We have ambitious goals for growth – and Prokon would fit into those perfectly.

So why is the company bankrupt?

I don’t want to go into details, but there were certainly exaggerated promises of returns and investments outside the core business.

And now Prokon is a good deal for EnBW?

We’re convinced that we have presented an attractive and appropriate offer of €550 million in cash, on the basis of a very detailed company valuation. We are higher than all other competing offers. So the bankruptcy administrator preferred our bid.

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