February 25, 2021

REE asks the government for help to reduce the bureaucratic procedures of its projects

REE asks the government for help to reduce the bureaucratic procedures of its projects


MadridUpdated:

Red Eléctrica de España (REE) will invest some 7,000 million euros until 2025 in its transport network, which is almost doubling its current investment rate of some 400 million a year, to meet the needs demanded by the energy transition, according to has declared today its president, the former Socialist Minister Jordi Sevilla.

To speed up these investments, "because we have to tighten a lot" to meet in 2030 with the goal of reducing emissions, REE has asked the Government to qualify as urgent or extraordinary affected projects to reduce administrative procedures that, on average, continue for three years. "I'm content with cutting that time in half," he said.

Along these lines, Seville plans to welcome the French ambassador next week to, among other things, convince him of the urgency of expanding interconnections with France, which currently represent only 3% of the installed capacity when the EU demands that it be of 10%

The president of REE has stressed that his main concern when he arrives every day at the office is how to get those 7,000 million euros in the markets without changing the basic lines of the strategic plan, such as the increase in shareholder remuneration.

On the contrary, he has stated that he is not worried about the possible acquisition of Hispasat because, "in either case, the Government will decide". He acknowledged that his purchase "makes sense for REE, but not at the price that is being shuffled now (1,300 million euros)."

Other projects that could be of interest to REE are the electric interconnection between Peru and Chile and, on the other, the optical fiber of Correos (some 3,000 kilometers). "But not at any price," he stressed.

Jordi Sevilla admitted that those 7,000 million investment will affect the receipt of the light, "but minimally, because we only assume 4% of it; the problem of the tariff is not in REE, rather, we are part of the solution ».

He pointed out that the objective of REE is to be "the executing arm of the energy transition", so it must face this investment effort so that the Spanish electricity system can meet the demands of more renewable and more digitalization.

"We do not start from scratch, but we must strengthen investments," said the director, who was appointed at the end of last July as the company's non-executive president, adding that he believes that not only more kilometers of networks will be necessary, "but also networks more efficient. "

To capture these 7,000 million euros, Sevilla said the company will need to go to the markets, "which is not going to be easy", and less with the change of context that is occurring in monetary policy, he added.

In this way, the group works on what will be its new strategic plan, which will collect that investment and whose final figure will depend on the planning that the Government considers, although it stressed that it will not affect in any case the dividend with which the company pays its shareholders. Thus, he stressed that the current "priority" for the group is how to "get those 7,000 million from the market and how the energy transition is guaranteed."

Thus, the manager parked the purchase of Hispasat, which had been on the table with the previous president of the company, Jose Folgado, but that Sevilla now leaves in the hands of the Government's decision.

"At the end in any scenario, the government will say yes or no," he said, adding that, although it is an investment that may make sense for REE, since it complements its telecommunications part, "it is not a priority operation for the group. "The board and the board have already spoken and I will not say no. It makes sense, but it's not my priority, "he said.

"NO AT ANY PRICE".

Likewise, Seville insisted that, if the purchase of Hispasat was addressed, "it would not be at any price," and warned that the operation could put pressure on the company's rating, as some rating agencies have already pointed out, even though its Leverage is among the lowest in the sector.

To achieve this "priority" objective for the company to move forward in the energy transition, he indicated that he has transferred the need for this investment effort to the Ministry for Ecological Transition, as well as to expedite an extraordinary procedure to shorten the deadlines for everything he has what to do with it, as it happened in the past in Spain with the telecommunications sector.

In this sense, the president of REE pointed out that the purpose of this extraordinary procedure would be to shorten those deadlines in the permits for the development of the necessary projects, currently located at an average of three years, although in some cases they are up to ten years , to reduce them by half.

On the other hand, Sevilla ruled out that the group will segregate its operations and transportation activities. "I have worked in convincing in recent months that it is absurd, the current model of majority TSO in Europe is ours, it is not the moment until the energy transition to bring this debate to a close," he said.

TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM OF THE RECEIPT OF THE LIGHT IN THE MARKET.

Regarding the increase in the receipt of light experienced in recent months, the president of REE advocated "addressing the problem where it is, which is the market" and on the part of the energy policy that is charged at the rate instead to take it to the General Budgets of the State (PGE).

Thus, he stressed that in the payment to REE is not the problem of the electricity tariff, which is only between 4 and 4.5% of the final bill.

In addition, he indicated that the company shares the methodology applied by the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), although not the cut in the compensation proposed by the regulator.

In this way, Sevilla noted that the group has submitted allegations to the proposal of compensation of 5.47% raised by the CNMC, since the calculations of the company estimate that it should be between 6.2% and 6.4 %.

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