Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Belgium says it is in advanced talks with Suez-GDF about market problems

Belgium says it is in advanced talks with Suez-GDF about market problems

The Belgian government said Wednesday it was in advanced talks with French energy companies Suez SA and Gaz de France SA about how they could open up the Belgian gas and electricity market to rivals ahead of their planned merger.
The government said it wanted to see two other energy companies in the market who would be able to offer a full product range and this was why it was asking for Suez's Belgian electricity company Electrabel SA to open up its nuclear power generation to two rivals.
Talks were focusing on volume, distribution conditions and pricing, the government said.
Belgium said it had told EU regulators that it wanted to see independent and impartial management of the country's gas network and a new liquefied natural gas terminal that could be accessed by competitors.
The European Commission said Wednesday that it was solely responsible for approving or blocking the Suez-GDF tie-up, but Belgium was free to strike deals with the companies to tackle pre-existing problems in the market.
Last month, Belgium said it was "obvious" GDF must give up its stake in Belgian power company SPE, the only major competitor to Suez on the Belgian electricity market, saying otherwise the merger would wipe out practically all competition.
Suez owns the country's largest energy provider Electrabel as well as its main gas producer Distrigas and gas transportation company Fluxys SA. GDF provides gas to the Belgian market and has a stake in SPE.
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said the government would also formalize an agreement with Suez about energy discounts paid to households this year to help them cope with higher fuel costs. He did not give details.
An unsourced report in Belgian newspapers De Tijd and De Standaard on Tuesday said the government wanted Suez to cover the euro100 million (US$127 million) cost of the discount.


Updated : 2021-07-26 06:29 GMT+08:00