* Munich Re says “cannot confirm” interest in grid
* TenneT seeks investors for offshore projects
* TenneT says has no plans to sell onshore grid
* Munich Re buys three onshore UK wind parks (Adds TenneT comment, background)
FRANKFURT/AMSTERDAM, Aug 13 (Reuters) - German insurers Allianz and Munich Re have declined to comment on a report they were interested in buying the local business of Dutch state-owned grid operator TenneT.
TenneT needs to raise billions of euros to expand its German offshore wind project. The German government wants TenneT to sell the German unit, daily Handelsblatt reported, citing people familiar with the negotiations.
A spokesman for TenneT said it was interested in attracting investors for its offshore projects and had no plans to sell its onshore grid. “Big investments are needed in Germany. TenneT wants to play an active role in this. Because many parties are involved, many things need to be agreed,” the spokesman said.
TenneT, which bought E.ON’s German high voltage grid in 2009, is responsible for connecting offshore wind plants in the North Sea with Germany’s electricity grid.
It has said it cannot afford the investment, which Handelsblatt put at 15 billion euros ($18 billion).
Two sources familiar with the matter had told Reuters on Friday that German economy minister Philipp Roesler will discuss TenneT’s financing problems when he meets the Dutch government this week.
Since February, TenneT has agreed the sale of minority stakes in four offshore wind cables to Japanese group Mitsubishi Corp in two separate deals totalling 580 million euros.
In April, chief executive Mel Kroon said TenneT was looking to sell stakes in another two cables - DolWin1 and SylWin1.
Like many other insurers, Allianz and Munich Re are looking for long-term infrastructure investments with stable income which they can use to match long-term obligations to policy holders. These are typically turnkey operations already up and running, rather than projects requiring fresh investment in construction or technology.
“I cannot confirm that interest,” a Munich Re spokeswoman said. Allianz declined to comment.
Munich Re, which has budgeted 2.5 billion euros for renewable energy investments in the medium term, has already ploughed more than 600 million into the sector.
On Monday, it said it was spending a low triple-digit million euro sum buying three onshore wind parks in Britain with a total output of 102 megawatts. ($1 = 0.8121 euro) (Reporting by Ludwig Burger, Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt and Gilbert Kreijger in Amsterdam; Editing by David Holmes and Dan Lalor)