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E.ON's nuclear unit to cut at least half its workforce by 2026
[FRANKFURT] German utility E.ON's PreussenElektra nuclear business plans to cut at least 1,000 of its 2,000-strong workforce by 2026 as a consequence of Germany's exit from nuclear power, it said on Wednesday.
The 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan prompted Germany to pull out of nuclear power faster than planned, aiming to reduce to zero its 21,500 MW reactor capacity by 2022 deadline. Capacity has so far been reduced to 11,357 MW.
"We intend to at least halve the number of positions until 2026," a PreussenElektra spokesman said, confirming an earlier newspaper report and citing the phasing out of plants and the dismantling of already idled installations.
The move is not related to previously announced E.ON plans to reduce group headcount by 1,300 by 2018 as stagnant demand and expanded renewables capacity erode the profitability of traditional thermal power stations.
PreussenElektra operates three nuclear power stations in Germany - Brokdorf, Isar 2 and Grohnde, which stayed with E.ON while other conventional energy plants were spun off into Uniper .
Based in Hanover, PreussenElektra has already shut down five nuclear reactors, in line with Germany's nuclear exit plan.
How the job cuts will be achieved remains subject to negotiations that have been stalled without dates for further talks being set, the spokesman said.
E.ON offshoot Uniper, meanwhile, is to resume talks with employee representatives on Aug 16 over plans to reduce personnel costs by 100 million euros (S$158.036 million) this year and next, a Uniper spokeswoman said. Uniper has 5,000 employees in Germany out of a total workforce of 13,000.