* Court says 2018 draft does not fulfil 2016 stipulations
* Vattenfall says was treated unfairly, seeks compensation
* Environment ministry says will amend plan
* RWE hopes for money, E.ON for easy power sales (Adds reactions from environment ministry, EnBW, E.ON)
KARLSRUHE, Germany, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Swedish utility Vattenfall scored a victory on Thursday when a federal court in Karlsruhe ruled Germany found fault with a 2018 draft law that covered compensation for the closure of nuclear plants and said it must be revised.
Germany decided to decommission some nuclear power plants immediately after Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011 and the remainder under an accelerated schedule up to 2022.
However, Vattenfall successfully complained the 2018 law breached production rights at its two main German plants, an embarrassing outcome for the German government, which will have to spend additional taxpayers’ money.
Environment minister Svenja Schulze said: “We will analyse the verdict thoroughly and quickly get a regulation in motion that satisfies the court’s requirements.”
In a written decision, the court said the 2018 plan did not meet guidelines it had laid out in 2016, when it said the closure of nuclear plants might violate some property rights.
That ruling had been intended, amongst other provisions, to compensate Vattenfall for the loss of its Brunsbuettel and Kruemmel reactors in northern Germany.
The court said there were mistakes in the draft, according to which pay-outs are only due after 2022 once the nuclear exit is complete. The draft has yet to be formally approved by the European Union.
Vattenfall had argued it was unable to use several years’ worth of previously agreed production quotas.
Competitors RWE, EnBW and E.ON were able to operate some of their plants longer, allowing them to use up remaining quotas.
Welcoming the ruling, Vattenfall said: “We must especially be compensated for being unable to use up the allocated power production quotas under satisfactory conditions.”
RWE’s Chief Finance Officer Markus Krebber, answering questions in an earnings call, said he expected mid triple-digit million euros in compensation for unrealised power sales from the reactor closures.
An E.ON statement said the company hoped, following Thursday’s ruling, to market production rights, which it held through a partial shareholding in Kruemmel, within the E.ON group.
EnBW, which is mainly publicly-owned, said it had not been part of the legal challenge. (Reporting by Ursula Knapp Writing by Vera Eckert Editing by Michelle Adair, Mark Potter and Barbara Lewis)
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