Engie’s new focus: low-carbon, regulated businesses and ‘customer solutions’

Engie has announced a three-year transformation plan intended to refocus the company on low-carbon activities (which will provide 90% of pre-tax earnings by 2018), regulated activities (expected to be more than 85% of pre-tax profit by 2018) and “integrated customer solutions”.

That translates as power production based on gas and renewables, gas infrastructure, and tailored energy services and supply solutions, the company – previously known as GDF-Suez – said.

The plan will see €15 billion of disposals, a third of which the company has announced with the sale of €4.1 billion of plant. That included 10GW in the USA (gas, coal, hydro and pumped storage) and 3GW of coal plant in India and Indonesia.

Engie said it planned to cycle out of coal and merchant power to focus on solar, hydro, wind and gas. Engie has already announced plans to close Rugeley, its only coal-fired plant in the UK. Its other UK interests include pumped storage, – it owns First Hydro – and nuclear. It is a major investor in a planned new nuclear project at Moorside in Cumbria.

The company hopes to double earnings from its customer solutions business by 2018 and announced the acquisition of OpTerra Energy Services, a US energy and sustainability management services business. The company’s customers are  schools, colleges and universities, commercial and industrial firms, health care, IT, and municipalities.

In the next three  to five years the company plans to invest in large scale solar deployment, decentralised energy and demand side response and low carbon transport. In the second half of the next decade the company identified large scale green gas, hydrogen, energy storage and local grids as ‘future game changers’ along with managing (and ‘destroying’) carbon dioxide.