February 14, 2018 / 10:31 AM / 6 months ago

France's RTE keen to partake in EU grid consolidation

PARIS, Feb 14 (Reuters) - French grid operator RTE would be keen to partake in European Union power grid consolidation and would be in favour of changing its legal status in order to achieve that, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Most European power grids have been split off from the utilities that owned them more than a decade ago.

However, RTE - majority owned by French state-controlled utility EDF - is one of a few so-called “Independent Transmission Operators” (ITOs) still owned by vertically integrated utilities.

These ITO firms are not allowed to buy stakes in independent power grid operators, but RTE chief executive Francois Brottes said he would be in favour of changing RTE’s legal status to be able to take part in any EU-wide power grid consolidation.

“RTE is not meant to be merely an observer in the consolidation of the European power grid industry,” Brottes told reporters.

He said there was no urgency in changing RTE’s legal status and that this was a medium-term project. He also said he was not too keen on an initial public offering (IPO). (Reporting by Geert De Clercq Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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