January 17, 2018 / 4:21 PM / a year ago

German court to rule in March on power, gas network returns

DUESSELDORF, Jan 17 (Reuters) - A German court will rule in March whether regulators will damage the profits of gas and power grid operators by cutting the returns on their network investments too severely.

The return on equity for operators of gas and power grids is set by Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BnetzA), which plans to cut the return to 6.91 percent from 9.05 percent for new networks and to 5.12 percent from 7.14 percent for old grids.

The new rates, set for five years, kick in from 2018 for gas grids and from 2019 for power networks, with a one percentage point change cutting sales by 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion).

Grid operators, including Amprion, in which RWE holds a minority stake, and 50Hertz, which owned by Belgium’s Elia and asset manager IFM Investors, have filed lawsuits to get the decision reversed.

The Higher Regional Court in Duesseldorf will rule on the matter on March 22. ($1 = 0.8175 euros) (Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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