Centre calls for partial Vattenfall privatisation

Centre calls for partial Vattenfall privatisation
Centre Party leader and energy minister Maud Olofsson is urging Sweden to sell off sections of state-owned energy giant Vattenfall in order to generate 10 billion kronor ($1.4 billion) of share capital to be invested in a new firm tasked with developing cutting edge energy solutions.

The prime task of the proposed new company, Framtidsenergi AB (Future Energy), would be to invest in novel energy solutions and create green jobs in Sweden in partnership with firms from the private sector, Olofsson wrote in an opinion piece in the Sunday edition of newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

The Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Communications said Sweden currently suffered from a lack of risk capital or powerful industrialists willing to take the step from the test lab to the market.

The domestic development chain tended too often to trail off into a sort of “valley of death”, said the minister. Consequently, new technologies that began life in Sweden either petered out at an early stage or were snapped up by foreign investors and manufactured abroad.

Olofsson stressed that two conditions would need to be met if a partial privatisation of Vattenfall were to become a reality. Firstly, the Swedish state should retain control over the country’s hydroelectric power resources. Secondly, part of the profits garnered from hydroelectric power over the decades should be reinvested in inland areas of Norrland, a region which “contributed a great deal to Sweden’s industrialization and one hundred years of profits for Vattenfall.”

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