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27.07.2018 12:37
Germany buys 20% in transmission system operator to prevent Chinese investment

  • © 50Hertz

Germany’s state investment bank, KfW, is purchasing a 20% stake in one of the country largest transmission system operators in order to block a Chinese company from acquiring the company. The reasons given are national security concerns, Bloomberg reports.

The state-owned KfW will acquire 20% in 50Hertz Transmission GmbH with a value of 770 million euros from the Belgian Elia System Operator SA/NV. Previously the State Grid Corporation of China was in negotiations in order to buy the 20%.

“On national security grounds, the Federal Government has a major interest in protecting critical energy infrastructure,” the Economy Ministry said in a statement on Friday, without mentioning China directly. “The citizens and the business community expect a reliable energy supply.”

50Hertz’s transmission grid supplies around 18 million people with electricity. KfW said it plans to only take the holding temporarily. Attracted by steady cash flows and technical know-how, Chinese electricity companies have been snapping up grid operators around the world in recent years.

Boris Schucht, 50Hertz chief executive officer, said the government’s move shows how crucial the grid operator is to Germany’s infrastructure.

“In the future, with a new ownership structure as part of a strong Elia Group, we want to continue our journey toward a successful energy transformation in Germany and Europe,” Schucht said in a statement.

TAGS: 50hertz | china | investment | germany | transmission system | operator | transmission | investment | national security 

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20.03.2022  Teodor Bobochikov, Managing Partner, V-Ridium
Energy Transformation – Trends and drivers
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