For the first time, RWE has announced that it will allow its municipal customers to participate in the construction of a new hard coal power station via a joint company.

All of the municipal utilities that have expressed an interest in obtaining a share in this hard coal power plant have received RWE’s consent. According to a statement by RWE, 26 municipal utilities will have a total of 350MW of the plant’s installed capacity at their disposal.

The planned hard coal power plant is a dual-block facility, which will have a net installed capacity of about 1,500MW. Main tasks such as building supervision and operation will be handled by RWE.

With this new form of cooperation, RWE is offering a large number of municipal utilities the possibility to acquire direct stakes in a power plant. This cooperation will enable municipal utilities to place their energy procurement activities on a broader basis, said Berthold Bonekamp, CEO of RWE Energy.

This will foster competition and the diversity of suppliers on the German electricity generation market, explained Dr Johannes Lambertz, a member of the executive board of RWE Power.

The full set of agreements on the investment project is to be signed next year.

RWE intends to invest a total of around E11 billion in power plants, opencast lignite mines, and power and gas grids by 2012.