Enel in Talks with Buyer for Russian Power Plant

The Russian power plant Reftinskaya, owned by Italy’s energy major Enel, could be sold by the end of the year, the company said on Friday, adding that it is in talks with a single possible buyer.

“(The deal) is close to the end. We have chosen a single buyer,” Francesco Starace said on the sidelines of a conference according to Reuters.

In May sources said Enel was in advanced talks with Russian businessman Andrey Melnichenko over the sale of the coal-fired plant.

Enel decided to sell Reftinskaya in 2016 and had hired Sberbank as an adviser. The company, Europe’s largest utility, is phasing out its coal-fired power plant portfolio as it focuses on grids, renewable energy, and retail business to drive growth, especially in emerging markets.

Enel develops renewable energy projects and sells them on if it can find better yields elsewhere.

The company has a 50 percent stake in a solar power joint venture in Italy with infrastructure fund F2i, which sources have said could be worth more than 1.5 billion euros.

Starace said Enel was interested in a proposal made by F2i to buy Enel’s stake in the venture.

The CEO said Enel was not interested in bidding for a portfolio of solar power assets being sold by Glennmont Partners.