Engie wants agreement on life extension of nuclear reactors by 30 June

Engie aims to reach a final agreement with the Belgian government on extending the lifetime of nuclear reactors Doel 4 and Tihange 3 by 30 June, the company said on Thursday.

The government and Engie - the parent company of Engie Electrabel and operator of Belgium's nuclear power plants - have been negotiating for several months to extend the lifetime of both reactors.

Belgium's government reached an agreement with Engie early this year on keeping the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 nuclear power plants open longer. Since then, negotiations have continued on a bill for decommissioning the older reactors and the disposal of nuclear waste.

Engie CEO Catherine MacGregor had talked about a summer deal during an earlier shareholder meeting, which was reaffirmed at the presentation of the quarterly figures. "Despite the progress made, some key parameters of the agreement have yet to be finalised between the two parties," Engie said.

Time is crucial

The aim is to reach a final agreement by 30 June. Given the industrial and operational complexity of the life extension, a timely signing is crucial if Doel and Tihange are to be restarted by November 2026, the company added.

The quarterly results showed that the French energy company made €389 million of EBIT profit (earnings before interest and taxes) on its Belgian nuclear reactors in the first three months of the year, a third less than the same period last year. That is because Doel 3 and Tihange 2 have since been disconnected from the grid. Higher market prices were also offset by the nuclear tax and the surplus profit tax.


The nuclear power plan in Doel. © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

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