EUR 550 million from the EIB to ORES for the optimization of the electricity and gas distribution networks in Wallonia

  • Nearly 50% of the transformation and modernization investments of ORES distribution networks covered for the next 5 years
  • A quarter of the amounts allocated to environmentally friendly projects
  • Energy transition and sustainable development are common objectives of the Belgian DSO and the EU Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted EUR 550 million to ORES for its priority action on climate and safe and efficient energy networks. The protocol signature of the financing agreement took place this morning in Namur, in the presence of the Walloon Minister for Energy, Mr Jean-Luc Crucke. ORES is the first Belgian distribution network operator (GRD) to benefit from such financing. Every year, ORES invests on average around EUR 250 million in its territory of activity (198 Walloon municipalities). For the 2018-2022 period, no less than EUR 1.15 billion will be invested in the maintenance, modernization and development of the electricity and natural gas distribution networks. 

A quarter of the amounts allocated will be dedicated to investments having a beneficial effect on the environment: renewable production connections, construction of energy-efficient buildings such as the company's future head office in Gosselies or investment in systems allowing the reduction of energy consumption. electrical losses on the network. In the global context of the energy transition and the sustainable development dynamic, this financing will allow ORES to continue to adapt and develop its electricity distribution infrastructures, by equipping them with new control and telecontrol tools, while making them more reliable. even more security of supply. In natural gas, the loan will contribute in particular to the financing of interconnection works, reinforcement and looping of the networks.

This loan from the EIB, on favorable terms thanks to the 'AAA' rating of the European institution, and with a long maturity, is an asset for the Walloon distributor. The funds will be mobilized by drawing over a period of five years and will be repaid, at a fixed or variable rate, for a maximum period of 20 years.

Jean-Christophe Laloux, Director General EIB , said at the protocolary meeting: "This important funding - the first of its kind in Belgium - demonstrates our commitment to strategic investments in the country when they are part of the priorities. action plans, and especially for the safeguarding of our planet. Safe and efficient energy distribution networks, adapted to the increasing influx of renewable energies and to new consumption will be the cornerstone of the energy transition, essential in the fight against climate change. "

Fernand Grifnée , Managing Director of ORES , said: "For our company, the granting of this financing is a magnificent proof of confidence on the part of the European Union's financing institution. By granting this loan, the EIB recognizes the financial strength of ORES, the relevance of its business model, the quality of its governance and our corporate vision. Today, we are mobilized to serve the energy transition and respond to new customer expectations. "

Cyprien Devilers, President of ORES , said: "Local public utility company, ORES has chosen a model focusing on its core business. This financing will enable us to strengthen ourselves further, to continue to prepare for the future, to invest in our networks and to ensure our missions efficiently, for the benefit of Walloon customers as well as our municipal shareholders. "

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