AEP snaps up Enron's Nordic power team

AEP gained an established team of 35 former employees of Enron Nordic Energy, which trades power and weather derivatives in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Germany. The team is headed by Thor Lien.

"The Nordic region is a mature energy market, but one where, to date, AEP has not participated," said Hank Jones head of AEP's European wholesale business. By adding Lien and his team, AEP is also now able to trade power between Germany and Denmark. Germany is Europe’s largest power market, and a country where AEP is already a large trader.

The hires follow a similar move in December when AEP acquired existing Enron coal contracts and hired 22 Enron employees, including Stuart Staley, head of Enron’s coal team. “We are aggressively building our wholesale energy capabilities in the United Kingdom and Europe, using our very successful US wholesale structure as a model,” said Jones in mid-December.

In a related move, Progress Ventures, a subsidiary of North Carolina-based energy firm Progress Energy, has hired Joseph Hirl, former president of Enron Japan, as a senior vice-president. Hirl will oversee trading and marketing of all regulated and non-regulated assets at Progress, as well as the developing structured commodity and financial product proposals for deals involving combinations of gas and electric commodities.

Hirl was responsible for the development and management of Enron Japan's multi-commodity merchant trading and derivatives businesses, and was previously responsible for Enron's entry into the Australian energy markets.

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