14 December 2000

Germany&#39s RWE confirms plans to expand in UK recycling and waste sector

Europe’s third largest waste business which is owned by Germany’s utility giant RWE, intends to expand in the UK, it was confirmed this week.

Speaking exclusively to letsrecycle.com, Peter Hofinger, business development director for RWE Umwelt, the division of RWE which has responsibility for waste management said: “The UK is an interesting market for us. We do plan to go into the UK. The plan is to examine very deeply the waste market, waste and recycling, in the future.”

RWE Umwelt has recently gained a foothold in the UK through its parent company’s acquisition of Thames Water which owns Thames Waste Management. The latter is best known at present for its plans to build an energy from waste plant at Slyfield, near Guildford.

RWE, which had net sales in the three months July to September this year of €10.1 billion, announced last week that RWE Umwelt, which has so far only been a holding company, and the companies under its control will be combined into one corporation as part of RWE's restructuring. /photos/GPaper.JPG

As the operating management company, RWE Umwelt will concentrate on developing the business segment of waste disposal and recycling in the future (pictured left is one of RWE's many recycling facilities, a paper sorting plant at its Trienekens AG business in Essen). Meanwhile, Thames Water has taken over the responsibility for the water business of RWE.

Mr Hofinger commented that until now RWE had expanded its waste businesses particularly in Eastern Europe because of the company’s parallel electricity business and geographical proximity to countries such as Poland and Hungary.

Now, RWE will consider buying businesses in the UK as part of its development strategy.
Mr Hofinger commented: “In the future we will see what opportunities there are for buying. The UK is a market which is ready to start developing with the municipalities in areas such as sorting, glass recovery and packaging recycling.”

And, he added that he was well aware of the current low landfill prices in the UK.
RWE Umwelt would offer a full range of services for waste streams. Mr Hofinger said that recycling facilities would come along a step by step approach to waste management services.


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