Purchase of Duke approved

January 16, 2004, 08:00 CET

The European Commission recently approved Hydro's purchase of Duke Energy's sales and marketing organization for gas in the Netherlands. "This acquisition bolsters our strength and flexibility in the European gas market," says Olav Skalmeraas.

The agreement on the purchase of Duke Energy Europe Northwest (DEEN) was signed on 19 November last year. The agreement has now been formerly approved by the EU. This means that the company is part of Hydro Energy as of 1 January this year.

The purchase has helped Hydro Energy to strengthen its position in the European gas market through the transfer of DEEN's customer portfolio, gas supply and agreements on access to transport and gas storage facilities.

"Of course this gives us a good position in the Netherlands, but we also gain greater opportunity for dealing with customers in the whole of north-western Europe, as we now have greater access to gas, transport and flexible solutions in the market. This comes in addition to our existing positions in the Emden areas, Zeebruge and the UK," says Olav Skalmeraas.

Skalmeraas leads the Gas and Power Marketing unit in Hydro Energy, which is responsible for sales and marketing of gas and electricity.

Before the purchase, Norsk Hydro Energy had a market share of around six percent of the long-term gas deliveries in the Netherlands. This increases to eight percent with the purchase of DEEN.