Engie signed an agreement with Riverstone Holdings LLC, a global energy-focused investment firm, for the sale of its shares in four coal-fired power plants in the Netherlands and in Germany, the French energy group announced on Friday.
The assets sold are the 350-megawatt (MW) Farge, 472 MW Zolling and the 726 MW Wilhelmshaven plants in Germany, plus the 731-megawatt Rotterdam plant in the Netherlands. Engie owns 100 percent of the first three plants, and holds 52 percent interest in the Rotterdam plant.
According to the company's statement, the proposed transaction will reduce Engie's net consolidated debt by approximately €200 million. The sale is subject to customary conditions, with closing expected during the second half of 2019.
"As a leading actor in the energy sector in Germany and the Netherlands with 11,000 employees, Engie will pursue investments in these two countries with the ambition to lead and speed up the zero carbon transition for all its clients," it said.
After this sale, coal will represent 4 percent of Engie's global power generation capacities, down from 13 percent at the end of 2015 when the group announced that it would gradually close or dispose of its coal assets and no longer build any new coal plants.
In the past three years, Engie has reduced its coal-based electricity generation capacity by approximately 75 percent.
Engie CEO Isabelle Kocher said 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.
"We will allocate €12 billion to these activities from 2019 to 2021, as previously announced during our Capital Market Day held this past February 28," she added.
By Hale Turkes