Tinne Van der Straeten asks BNB to participate in crisis contribution for Engie – Economic Policy

Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Green) has asked the National Bank of Belgium (BNB) to prepare a proposal for a crisis contribution aimed at the energy sector, we learned on Tuesday.

It therefore refers above all to the “exceptional profits” made by the Engie Electrabel group, the operator of the seven Belgian nuclear reactors, thanks to high energy prices.

“There is no justification for record profits being made when a record number of people are unable to pay their bills,” said the environment minister.

Since the sharp rise in energy prices, the surplus profits of the energy sector have been regularly pointed out. These could rise to 1.6 billion euros in 2022, according to the federal regulator, the Creg.

At the request of Mrs. Van der Straeten, the Creg (Electricity and Gas Regulations Committee) has drawn up legal advice to investigate how the sector’s contribution to public finances can be increased.

But the task is far from simple, to avoid legal action or claims for damages from the government.

Under the current provisions, Engie Electrabel is practically exempt from the nuclear margin for the three oldest reactors (Doel 1 and 2 as well as Tihange 1) through the distribution contribution (a variable nuclear tax on Doel 3 and 4 and Tihange 2 and 3), with the exception of a fixed fee of 20 million euros intended for the energy transition fund.

For the four other more recent reactors, there is a “distribution fee” set at 38% of Engie Electrabel’s profits. According to an estimate by the Creg, the amounts for the years 2022-2024 could vary between 529.68 and 683.92 million euros per year.

That is not enough, emphasizes Ms Van der Straeten. “No one can get rich as a result of the crisis,” she said in a statement released Tuesday, recalling the series of measures taken by the federal government to deal with rising energy bills (lower utility bills). , reduction of the excise duty on diesel and petrol and the premium for fuel oil-propane, as well as the extension of the social rate).

“It is clear that Engie Electrabel is benefiting from higher energy prices than ever before. If a company makes exceptional profits at the expense of the wallets of citizens who are already suffering enormously from the consequences of the crisis and (the situation of) the economy ,,It is unacceptable. And it poses a danger to our economy,” the minister emphasized.

It therefore asked the BNB to draw up a proposal for a crisis contribution aimed at the energy sector, taking into account the conditions it would have to meet.

It therefore refers above all to the “exceptional profits” made by the Engie Electrabel group, the operator of the seven Belgian nuclear reactors, thanks to high energy prices. “There is no justification for record profits being made when a record number of people are unable to pay their bills,” said the environment minister. Since the sharp rise in energy prices, the surplus profits of the energy sector have been regularly pointed out. These could rise to 1.6 billion euros in 2022, according to the federal regulator, the Creg. At the request of Mrs. Van der Straeten, the Creg (Electricity and Gas Regulations Committee) has drawn up legal advice to investigate how the sector’s contribution to public finances can be increased. But the task is far from simple, to avoid legal action or claims for damages from the government. Under the current provisions, Engie Electrabel is practically exempt from the nuclear margin for the three oldest reactors (Doel 1 and 2 as well as Tihange 1) through the distribution contribution (a variable nuclear tax on Doel 3 and 4 and Tihange 2 and 3), with the exception of a fixed fee of 20 million euros intended for the energy transition fund. For the four other more recent reactors, there is a “distribution fee” set at 38% of Engie Electrabel’s profits. According to an estimate by the Creg, the amounts for the years 2022-2024 could vary between 529.68 and 683.92 million euros per year. That is not enough, emphasizes Ms Van der Straeten. “No one can get rich as a result of the crisis,” she said in a statement released Tuesday, recalling the series of measures taken by the federal government to deal with rising energy bills (lower utility bills). , reduction of the excise duty on diesel and petrol and the premium for fuel oil-propane, as well as the extension of the social rate). “It is clear that Engie Electrabel is benefiting from higher energy prices than ever before. If a company makes exceptional profits at the expense of the wallets of citizens who are already suffering enormously from the consequences of the crisis and (the situation of) the economy ,,It is unacceptable. And it poses a danger to our economy,” the minister emphasized. It therefore asked the BNB to draw up a proposal for a crisis contribution aimed at the energy sector, taking into account the conditions it would have to meet.

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