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EnBW spending on hold over pending elections: paper

EnBW AG CEO Frank Mastiaux explains the operation of an electric car charging booth to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Electric Mobil
EnBW AG CEO Frank Mastiaux explains the operation of an electric car charging booth to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Electric Mobil

BERLIN (Reuters) - German utility EnBW has put on hold investments worth billions of euros in offshore wind energy because decisions on future state aid have been delayed pending the outcome of federal elections, its chief executive told a newspaper.

"Future framework conditions for the energy sector must urgently be clarified," Frank Mastiaux told Stuttgarter Zeitung in an interview published on Saturday.

"How is industry supposed to take decisions on investments if it doesn't know the respective conditions?" he said.

EnBW and its larger German peers E.ON and RWE are facing deep structural changes to their once-stable business model, partly due to Germany's landmark decision in 2011 to abandon all nuclear power generation by 2022.

The decision entailed the immediate shutdown of 40 percent of Germany's nuclear capacity, including two of EnBW's reactors.

Mastiaux also called for state incentives to encourage conventional power generation, utilities' core business, which has been hurt by a boom in renewable energy.

A spokesman for Karlsruhe-based EnBW did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks on track to win a third term in the federal election on Sunday but faced a battle to preserve her center-right majority and avert a potentially divisive coalition with the center-left.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Pravin Char)

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