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RWE buys 382-MW UK gas power plant from Centrica

RWE AG is acquiring a 382-MW gas-fired power plant in the U.K. from Centrica PLC for £105 million, the companies announced on Dec. 23.

The German utility will take over the combined-cycle plant in King's Lynn, Norfolk, which is set to receive stable income from October 2020 through a 15-year capacity contract with the government.

The U.K.'s capacity market, a scheme to pay generators for keeping their plants online in case of a supply squeeze, was re-approved in October following a legal challenge under EU state aid rules.

"The acquisition of King's Lynn power station strengthens our position as one of the largest operators of gas-fired power plants in Europe. We also reinforce our engagement in the attractive U.K. generation market," Roger Miesen, CEO of RWE Generation, said in a statement.

King's Lynn has an efficiency of 57% and underwent a technical update this year, which included the installation of a new gas turbine. The acquisition, expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, will bring RWE's portfolio of gas-fired power plants in the U.K. to 7,200 MW, the company said.

As part of the transaction, RWE subsidiary RWE Generation SE is also taking over more than 30 employees at the site.

Centrica said the sale forms part of an asset disposal program announced in February. The company has previously sold off large-scale power plants and also wants to sell its upstream oil and gas business, part of a pivot to become a downstream energy service provider.

Centrica said the price for the King's Lynn plant was based on a valuation date of Dec. 31.