Delivery not included: RWE's giant coal-era excavator draws high demand

DUESSELDORF (Reuters) - RWE RWEG.DE has received 45 bids for one of its giant bucket-wheel excavators used in mining that it put up for sale in an online auction earlier this year, Germany's largest power producer said on Wednesday.

The 3,500-tonne “Bagger 275” is the smallest of RWE’s 22-strong excavator fleet and has a capacity of 60,000 cubic metres per day - enough to fill 24 Olympic-size swimming pools. The auction was started in July and is run by auction house Wilhelm Dechow.

Bids came from interested parties from 22 countries and included players from the mining, logistics and metals recycling industries, an RWE spokesman said following the end of the auction.

RWE, which is preparing for a coal-free future, is now reviewing the bids and whether potential buyers will take on the dismantling and transport of the asset - key factors in the planned sale.

RWE, Europe’s biggest carbon dioxide emitter as well as the continent’s third-largest renewables player, plans to phase out coal as a resource by 2038. It still mines lignite, or brown coal, in Germany.

Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Christoph Steitz, editing by Emma Thomasson and Tomasz Janowski