Czech Tycoon to Buy Europe’s Aging Coal-fired Power Plants
“The media bubble around clean energy doesn’t reflect reality,” said Alan Svoboda, an executive director of Seven Energy, the utility and lignite miner owned by Tykac. “Our fundamental assumption is that these conventional assets will be needed in the near future to balance the grids.”
As Europe continues to embrace renewable power, Tykac and his group believe fossil-fuel plants will still be needed to make up the shortfall in generation when the sun does not shine or the weather is calm. This situation may last another two decades, especially after Germany shuts all its nuclear power plants by 2022, Svoboda said in an interview.
Tykac, the Czech Republic’s sixth-richest person, owns Seven Energy, which operates a 500-megawatt coal-fired plant, lignite mining operations and a 25-strong trading team that buys and sells commodities in Germany and other western European markets.
After losing a bid for the German lignite assets of Swedish utility Vattenfall AB in 2016, Tykac is looking at potential acquisition targets in countries from Germany to the U.K. and Italy. The aim is to close the first deal before the end of the year, Svoboda said, without disclosing specific targets.