TXU build forges ahead despite crisis

IPSWICH-based energy giant TXU today said it was pressing ahead with development of its new prestigious HQ in the town, despite its financial crisis. The £23 million scheme in Russell Road is the focal point for the Ipswich village project and which council chiefs hope will attract other businesses.

By Richard Cornwell

IPSWICH-based energy giant TXU today said it was pressing ahead with development of its new prestigious HQ in the town, despite its financial crisis.

The £23 million scheme in Russell Road is the focal point for the Ipswich village project and which council chiefs hope will attract other businesses.

Executives at TXU reassured customers that it was "business as usual" for the firm and not to listen to "rumours and lies" about its future.

"At this time we are fully committed to the Russell Road project, and to our employees in Ipswich and to Ipswich Town Football Club, which we sponsor" said a company spokesman.

Its operations in Britain have been described as on the brink of collapse after a $700 million – £450m – lifeline from its American parent was cut.

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The news followed rumours last week that 400 jobs were to be cut as part of TXU Europe's operations, and the value of its shares crashing, with their value dropping by more than two-thirds in the past two months.

The spokesman said: " TXU Europe has been working hard over the past few days with creditors, those that it does business with, the government and the regulator, and at this time is maintaining and promoting business as usual.

"We are seeking to reassure customers and employees of that.

"The problems affecting the whole of the energy industry are well-known and discussions we are having with people in the industry reflect that.

"We are encouraged by the responsible behaviour of the people we do our business with while we deal with our own situation."

Cost-cutting and restructuring was still a priority, but management was keeping employees up to date with the situation and was talking to workers.

Supplies to customers were not affected and the company has urged people not to listen to what others might be saying about its operations.

The energy industry is suffering major problems as a result of a serious fall in the wholesale price of electricity in the UK.

TXU buys electricity from six UK generators at fixed prices which it sells on to its 5.5 million customers or into the market.

TXU's British arm operates an energy trading business, several power stations, and TXU Energi, the former Eastern Electricity and Norweb supply companies.

Company officials have refused to comment on how many jobs might be lost in the UK and Europe, but would hope that any restructing can be achieved through voluntary redundancy and natural wastage.

WEBLINK: www.txu.com/eu/TXU Europe

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