The state-owned operator of the electric power transmission system ČEPS, a.s., has agreed with German energy company RWE on the sale of its subsidiary RWE Gas Storage CZ, s.r.o.. The purchase was approved by the Government of the Czech Republic on Wednesday, and the purchase contract was signed today.
RWE Gas Storage CZ, s.r.o. is the largest operator of gas storage facilities in the Czech Republic with six underground gas storage facilities with a total operating volume of more than 2.7 billion m³. The subject of the sale is the company including the entire workforce, consisting of 250 employees. The agreed purchase price (equity value) is €360 million.
As gas storage activities are not part of RWE's core business, the company has decided to divest its Czech business while retaining its gas storage business in Germany. RWE’s storage facilities in Germany are salt caverns which, due to their geological characteristics, are ready to be used for storing hydrogen.
Markus Krebber, CEO of RWE AG: “We are delighted to have found a competent and experienced buyer in ČEPS, for whom our Czech gas storage business is of key strategic significance. This provides certainty for the workforce and the opportunity to continue to evolve both the company and its business. RWE Gas Storage CZ is a profitable and established company that plays an important role in security of supply in the Czech Republic.”
“ČEPS, a.s. will finance the purchase in the short term from the surplus of its own resources which results of a significant drop in the costs of ancillary services and the drop in prices of electricity purchased to cover losses in the transmission system. The company will also use proceeds from cross-border capacity auctions,” says Martin Durčák, chairman of the board of ČEPS, a.s.
“ČEPS is the sole national transmission system operator, responsible for the transmission of electricity and the proper operation of the electricity system, and thus also for the safety and reliability of electricity supply in the Czech Republic. The company is wholly owned by the state, with 100% of the ownership rights exercised through the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The purchase of the gas storage facilities by ČEPS is therefore a logical step in government activities to further strengthen the Czech Republic’s security of supply,” says Josef Síkela, Minister of Industry and Trade.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be closed in 2023.