Economy

Cabinet wants to sell TenneT’s minority interest to Germany

Ministers Wopke Hoekstra (Finance) and Eric Wiebes (Economic Affairs and Climate) write this in a letter to the House of Representatives.

Both countries signed a letter of intent earlier today and will be discussing details such as the price and size of the stake in the coming months. The goal is to reach an agreement in the first quarter of 2021.

Energy transition

Tennet is now 100% owned by the Dutch state. The company manages the Dutch high-voltage network and a large part of the German one. Due to the energy transition and regular maintenance, tens of billions will be needed in the coming decades.

Last year, the state participation thought it would need another 35 billion euros for the next ten years, now it is estimated between 40 and 50 billion euros until 2028. Almost three-quarters of those investments will end up in Germany.

Power strips at sea

The connection of wind farms to the electricity grid in particular costs a lot of money. The construction of so-called ‘power strips at sea’ and power cables to the mainland alone cost billions. The grid operator therefore needs at least € 5.3 billion in additional capital. The starting point is that the Dutch state only contributes to investments in the Dutch part.

In order to make German investments possible, the government has identified various scenarios in recent months. For example, Tennet also looked at a partial IPO, the sale of a minority stake to a private party, full withdrawal from Germany and an additional capital contribution by the Dutch state.

Security of supply

It is preferable to sell a minority stake to the German state. According to the cabinet, this best guarantees the security of supply and the affordability of electricity.

The network operator recorded a net profit of 630 million euros last year on a turnover of 4.4 billion euros, according to the 2019 annual report.

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