Engie asks half billion extra for nuclear extension

Engie Electrabel is demanding 500 to 600 million euros in compensation from the Belgian government as the lifetime extension of two nuclear power plants disrupts the previously planned decommissioning plan.

So, reports business newspaper De Tijd, which consulted the annexes to Electrabel’s annual accounts published last week. The government does not agree and has requested a counter-evaluation.

Additional costs

Engie says additional costs are associated with keeping Doel 4 and Tihange 3 ten years longer than planned. After all, nuclear plant decommissioning can no longer take place in series.

According to Engie Electrabel, the agreement with the government sets out a mechanism to offset the extension’s financial impact on the other plants’ decommissioning program. “Decommissioning takes longer, and there is a loss of economies of scale,” spokesperson Hellen Smeets told De Tijd. At 8.4 billion euros total decommissioning costs, we estimate the financial impact to be between 500 and 600 million euros.”

This is the first time that the energy company has quantified the impact of the lack of cooperation between the extension projects of two units and the dismantling of five others.

In its original plan—without extension—Engie envisaged closing all seven units between 2022 and 2025 and gradually dismantling them in the following years.


However, there is no agreement on the amount yet. The government thinks it is too high and asks for a counter-evaluation. “We do not agree with Engie, which made its estimate unilaterally,” says Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen) ‘s cabinet. There should not necessarily be additional associated costs. It is the Nuclear Provisions Commission (CNV) that will decide.”

The CPN president, Kevin Welch, has explained to De Tijd that he has been working on the issue since February.


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