Negotiations with Engie on the extension of the two youngest nuclear power stations have been successfully concluded. This is what Federal Minister of Energy Tinne Van der Straeten (Green) said on The Seventh Day. “And that deal will cost taxpayers nothing.”
At the end of last week, Engie’s negotiators and the federal government fully agreed on the final full stops and commas in the legal texts. That contract – approximately 1,500 pages – will be explained to experts from the various federal vice-cabinets in the coming week. The following week the intention is for the core cabinet to give the green light for signing the texts.
Security of supply
Van der Straeten and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) thus submit the most complex dossier of their careers. The intention is that the two youngest nuclear power stations – Doel 4 and Tihange 3 – will operate for ten years longer. The two reactors will close in 2025 and should be back online by November 2025. Engie had already started the preparatory work to bring this to a successful conclusion.
In a nutshell, the deal looks like this: Engie will pay 15 billion euros to the Belgian government for the disposal and remediation of nuclear waste. In addition, they set aside another 8 billion euros for its own activities. By transferring that money, the company wants to avoid having a financial millstone around its neck in the coming decades. In return, Belgium can count on those two youngest nuclear power stations and the associated security of supply.