Spanish utility Endesa will sell 244MWe of nuclear capacity as part of a total of 2610MWe generating capacity before the end of 2001. Endesa will transfer the capacity to a holding entity comprising both production and distribution companies. The distribution company will be based on Electra de Viesgo, Endesa’s subsidiary in northern Spain, and will have a customer base of between 500,000 and 600,000, making it the country’s fifth largest electric utility with a 3% market share.

The generating company will have a production mix of: 10% nuclear capacity, 35% coal-fired, 30% oil/gas and 25% hydropower. The total represents 5.5% of the current Spanish generation market. Endesa and its subsidiaries have significant stakes in Almaraz, Asco and Vandellos-2. They also own a small share in Trillo that does not amount to the 244MWe figure cited to the company’s shareholders in literature surrounding the sale. However, Endesa Generacion’s Viesgo owns 50% of Nuclenor, the company that operates the 466MWe Santa Maria de Garoña BWR, which has just been approved for another 10 years’ operation.

Endesa expects leading European and North American energy operators to bid for the assets in a two-stage process that will be managed by JP Morgan.