Environment minister Jürgen Trittin yesterday welcomed the news, saying it was a direct consequence of the phase-out agreement and would increase public safety. Mr Trittin noted that new German wind power capacity installed in 1999 alone had exceeded that of Stade. He reiterated that nuclear closures and the attendant restructuring of the power sector would create jobs.
For E.ON, one of Germany's largest utilities, Stade's closure was to do with cost-cutting rather than the phase-out deal, following substantial falls in electricity prices since market liberalisation in 1998. The company said that its plan to shut a total of 4,800 megawatts of capacity would involve shedding 1,500 jobs and should boost operating profit by euros 716m (DM1.4bn) over the next ten years.
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