Engie sells coal power plants in Germany and the Netherlands

The French utility continues to sell off its coal assets, and the company's power plants in Germany and the Netherlands are next in line.
Photo: Engie
Photo: Engie

Engie has sold four coal-fired power plants to investment firm Riverstone Holdings, which focuses on energy investments, informs the company in a press release.

The transaction encompasses a facility in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and three facilities in Farge, Zolling and Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The total capacity of the four power plants is 2.345 GW.

However, Engie owns only 52 percent of the plant in Wilhelmshaven, and the Zolling plant consists of a biomass facility rated at 21 MW, of which Engie owns only 50 percent.

"This transaction is fully in line with the group's strategy to be the world leader in the zero-carbon transition. We are focusing investments on solutions for corporates and local authorities, large-scale development of renewable energy and the necessary adaptation of power and gas networks to the energy transition," states Isabelle Kocher, CEO at Engie, in the press release.

In total, Engie expects that the transaction will enable the company to reduce its debt by EUR 200 million. At the turn of the year, the company's debt figure in its annual report was EUR 21.2 billion. In the report, Engie also revealed its plans to sell off assets.

Engie has long planned to go green, which is why assets worth EUR 6 billion will be sold off in the coming years. The idea is to add 9 GW of green capacity to the company's portfolio ahead of 2021.

During this period, the company will invest between EUR 2.3 and 2.8 billion in renewable energy, while the collective investment program, which includes customer solutions and network business line, is EUR 11-12 billion.

In the press release, Engie informs that the company will pursue investments in the Netherlands and Germany "with the ambition to lead and speed up the zero-carbon transition for all its clients".

Back in 2015, Engie announced that this ambition meant closing or selling off coal assets. During the past three years, this has meant that the company's coal production has been reduced by around 75 percent, and that coal now, following the divestment, represents about 4 percent of Engie's energy production.

On its capital markets day, Engie also told of its plans to further focus its business.

Specifically, this means a prioritization of 20 countries and 30 urban areas undergoing heavy development.

Here, the goal is a capacity to build on a large scale, acquire a top-three position and not least run a larger operation. Especially Southeast Asia and Africa will be in the company's focus.

"Engie will also exit approximately 20 countries over the next three years in a move to enhance focus and economic returns," stated Engie on this occasion.

English Edit: Jonas Sahl Jørgensen

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