French multinational utility ENGIE announced last week it plans to sell off its German and Dutch coal assets worth a total installed capacity of 2,345 megawatts (MW) in a move which will reduce the company’s debt considerably and reduce the company’s exposure to coal dramatically.
ENGIE announced last Friday that it had signed an agreement with global energy-focused investment firm Riverstone Holdings for the sale of its coal-fired power plants in the Netherlands and Germany. The assets included in the sale include 731 MW of in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, 350 MW in Farge, Germany, 472 MW of coal assets in Zolling, Germany — in addition to a 50% share in a 21 MW biomass power plant and a 46 MW natural gas turbines plant — and 726 MW in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
Upon completion of the sale — which is subject to the customary conditions and expected to close during the second half of 2019 — coal will only represent 4% of ENGIE’s global power generation capacities, down from 13% at the end of 2015, the date the company announced it would gradually close or dispose of its coal assets and no longer build any new coal-fired power plants.
According to the company’s own figures, ENGIE has reduced its coal-based electricity generation capacity by 75% over the past 3 years.
“This transaction is fully in line with the Group’s strategy to be the world leader in the zero-carbon transition,” said Isabelle Kocher, ENGIE CEO. “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. We will allocate €12 billion to these activities from 2019 to 2021, as previously announced during our Capital Market Day held this past February 28th.”
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