PGGM, a Dutch pension fund service provider, has announced that it is partnering with Shell’s New Energies business to explore the prospect of taking part in an auction to acquire the Netherlands-based power and gas utility Eneco Group.


Image: The Rotterdam-based Eneco is a power and gas utility. Photo: courtesy of Eneco.

In December 2018, Eneco said that its shareholders’ committee, supervisory board and board of management arrived at the decision of privatizing the group through a controlled auction.

Headquartered in Rotterdam, the utility produces and supplies natural gas, electricity and heat in the Netherlands, serving over two million business and residential customers.

PGGM said that alongside Shell, it is impressed with Eneco’s achievements in transforming the Dutch energy system by means of investments across sustainability and renewable energy.

The two partners expect to combine their knowledge, ambitions and financial commitment to consolidate on Eneco’s sustainable strategy and enable the utility to competitively grow its renewable energy products and services across North West Europe.

PGGM private markets chief investment officer Frank Roeters van Lennep said: “The energy transition offers good opportunities for long-term investments in a more sustainable economy and we think Eneco can play a central role in realising the consortium’s shared ambitions.

“PGGM and Shell bring complementary experience and expertise across Eneco’s activities, which will support the delivery of affordable sustainable energy to a growing number of customers in North West Europe.”

Shell, through its existing business and activities, is said to provide access to clean-tech research and development, connected mobility and digital start-ups and also to a significant number of partners and customers.

Shell Integrated Gas & New Energies director Maarten Wetselaar said: “This provides opportunities along the entire energy value chain, from generation of renewable power to trading and delivery at home, on the road and at work.

“Eneco’s business neatly fits with Shell’s New Energies activities and ambitions to continuously find new ways to reduce carbon emissions and provide more and cleaner energy. The consortium is committed to expand and develop business models that create both societal and commercial value.”

In December 2018, Eneco acquired full ownership in German firm LichtBlick, which provides green electricity to more than 600,000 households and businesses. In the same month, the Dutch energy company signed a deal to buy all the power generated by the Seastar and Mermaid offshore wind farms in Belgium, which upon commissioning, will have a combined capacity of 487MW.