La Caisse des Dépôts and Vauban Infrastructures Partners will acquire French DHC operator Coriance • 29M EUR to renew and expand the DHC network in Calais • Dalkia renews DHC contract in Montbéliard and vows to invest 27M EUR • Read more about the developments in sustainable heating and cooling in this month's news update from France
On June 2, Caisse des Dépôts and the Vauban Infrastructure Partners fund announced that they have entered exclusive negotiations with Igneo Infrastructure Partners, to acquire the DHC operator Coriance. The consortium expects to complete the acquisition in the third quarter of 2023.
Coriance boasts a portfolio of almost 40 heating networks, annual sales of €325 million, and a 7% market share in France, making it the fourth largest operator of heating networks in France, after Engie, Dalkia and Idex. Several news sources outline that the company is valued at 1.6 billion Euro. The reason for the relatively high valuation is according to Les Echos the very promising market outlook for district heating in France; by Northern European standards district heating in France is still relatively underdeveloped and France’s supreme audit institution, the Cour des Comptes, has set a target to upscale the output of sustainable DHC networks in France by a factor of 5 between 2012 and 2030.
While Les Echos outline that several other high-profile transactions could follow suite in the DHC market, such sales have yet to be announced. Les Echos mention that Idex and Dalkia, could potentially be put up for sale in coming years.
On Monday, June 26, the town of Calais entered into an agreement with the Coriance group for the city’s DHC network. The agreement marks an end to 25 years of partnership with the operator Dalkia, and the new agreement with Coriance has a contract term of 25 years. In connection to taking over the contract with the city, Coriance has vowed to direct 29 million Euro towards updating and extending the city’s DHC network. The primary goal of this commitment is to create a more sustainable and cost-effective network. According to Coriance, customers can expect a reduction in their bills ranging from 5 to 15%, depending on their consumption profiles.
The heating network in Calais is also set to rely on renewable energy from the burning of biomass from local wood suppliers from the Calais area. The focus will be on engaging suppliers within a short radius to minimize transportation and maintain an environmentally friendly approach. The municipality has already established partnerships with several companies to facilitate the implementation of this initiative.
During the construction work, private homes within 15 m of the newly constructed pipes will be encouraged to connect to the new DHC network, and Coriance speaks of an addressable market of 227 houses in Calais for this offer. While households will have to oversee a connection to the new network on their own accord, subsidies are available for such installations.
The town of Montbéliard has voted to renew its district heating lease with Dalkia, with the contract term lasting until 2048. The operator has also vowed to invest €27 million to extend the current heating network. Along with planned extensions and a modernization of the current network, Dalkia has also outlined plans to construct a wood-fired boiler plant to supply the network with heat.
The aim of the planned work on the network is to connect new customers to the network, reduce prices and increase the share of sustainably sourced heat. Today, household waste incineration at the Pied des Gouttes plant heats nearly 8,000 residents in the Petite Hollande area. The ambition is to increase this to 12,000 inhabitants.
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