Flanders and federal government ready to join power grid operator Elia

The Belgian municipalities are negotiating to bring the federal and Flemish governments on board with the power grid operator Elia, De Tijd reports.

The municipalities, which own a 44.8 per cent stake through their holding company Publi-T, have a plan to avoid losing control of Elia. The company will have to source new funds in the coming years to finance the billion-dollar investments in the energy transition in Belgium and Germany. According to estimates, Elia will not only have to take on additional debt over the next 10 years but also raise 4.5 billion euros in additional capital. If the municipalities want to maintain their interest, they must put an extra 2 billion on the table.

Because these funds are not readily available, they have been searching for financial partners. There is a consensus that the federal and Flemish governments want to join this endeavour.

The federal investment company SFPIM (formerly FPIM) has stated that it would be willing to take a small minority stake in Publi-T. The Flemish PMV, an infrastructure investment organisation, is in a position to enter the picture with New Transco, a holding company that is in the process of being established. New Transco will see six Flemish inter-municipal companies join forces. Additionally, Flemish Energy Holding will take on a strong role, which includes financial parties Belfius, KBC, Ethias and P&V.

The operation should allow Elia to remain based in Belgium and ensure that Publi-T's importance is maintained in the coming years.


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