Engie Agrees to Extend Life of Two Belgian Nuclear Power Plants

Engie, the French energy company formerly known as GDF Suez SA, signed an agreement with the Belgian government to extend the life of two nuclear power plants by 10 years.

The company will invest 700 million euros ($742 million) in the plants and pay an annual fee of 20 million euros to the Belgian energy transition fund as part of the deal to extend the life of the Doel 1 and Doel 2 plants until 2025, Engie, based near Paris, said Tuesday in statement.

“This convention is subject to the approval of two laws by the Belgian Parliament,” Engie said. Terms of the deal were first agreed in July.

The company also agreed to make payments of 200 million euros in 2015, 130 million euros in 2016, and a variable contribution of at least 150 million euros from 2017 to 2019 for the Doel 3, Doel 4, Tihange 2 and Tihange 3 facilities.

Engie’s earnings have been crimped by the halt of two nuclear reactors in Belgium because of safety concerns, as well as lackluster demand for natural gas in Europe. The company on Oct. 1 cut its 2015 earnings forecast by 100 million euros as the halt of its Doel-3 and Tihange-2 nuclear plants in Belgium was extended until the start of next year. The shutdowns are trimming the group’s net recurring income by about 40 million euros a month on average, Engie said.

On Nov. 17, Engie said it had begun preparation work to start up the two plants.

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