France news update May 2023

2 million EUR directed towards DHC in Strasbourg-Kehl • French DHC operator Coriance is up for acquisition • Geothermal wells will supply heat to Evry’s DHC network • Read more about the developments in sustainable heating and cooling in this month's news update from France

2 million EUR of European funds will be directed to district heating in Strassbourg-Kehl

On Monday, May 22, the Monitoring Committee of the European Interreg Upper Rhine program gave its approval for two new district heating projects in the Rhine area encompassing France, Germany, and Switzerland. 

One of these projects notably focuses on harnessing industrial waste heat from the Badische Stahlwerke GmbH (BSW) in Kehl and connecting these facilities to the existing district heating network in Strasbourg. This will be accomplished via a 4.5-kilometer-long pipeline along the Rhine bed, constructed with financial support from the European Union. By 2027, approximately 7,000 households in Strasbourg will receive energy derived from the steel company’s waste heat. This project marks the first cross-border project of its kind in Europe. 

The projects are estimated to lead to a reduction of nearly 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the cross-border heating network is anticipated to eventually expand its reach, connecting more homes, public institutions, and businesses in Strasbourg, as well as the city center of Kehl.  

Read more at the web page of the local government

The French heating and cooling operator Coriance is the subject of an upcoming acquisition  – four large players are likely candidates to acquire the company, one of which is Swedish EQT  

The Coriance Group, one of the largest heating network operators in French, is up for sale for an estimated 1.5 billion euros. Coriance operates nearly 40 heating and cooling networks across the country and holds a 7% market share. The company has several long-term contracts with local authorities, ensuring predictable revenues for the next 20 years, making them an attractive target for infrastructure funds, especially considering the potential for growth in the district heating market in France.  

According to Les Echos, four preliminary bids have been shortlisted. The candidates that are vying for the acquisition are Caisse des Dépôts in collaboration with French infrastructure fund Vauban, Sweden’s EQT, investment group CDPQ (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec), and Quantum Pacific.  

The sale is expected to be closely watched, as it may set a precedent for other major transactions that are anticipated to take place in the French market in the coming years. Les Echos outline that a potential sale of Idex, that has been in the possession of infrastructure fund Antin since 2018, could be on the agenda in coming years. Furthermore, the article outlines that Dalkia, subsidiary of EDF, could be considered for sale depending on the new strategic plan that will presented by EDF CEO Luc Rémont in the end of June.  

Read more in article from Les Echos

Geothermal wells are now feeding into the district heating network in Evry 

In Evry, Essonne, Dalkia and Grand Paris Sud have inaugurated a geothermal power plant that will supply heat to the region’s district heating network encompassing approximately 8,500 homes. 

Prior to the opening of these geothermal wells, the district heating network in Evry relied on natural gas for heat generation as well as spillover heat from waste treatment facilities. However, thanks to the new development, the town’s energy profile will significantly shift towards renewable sources. The newly introduced geothermal energy source now cover 22% of Evry’s energy needs and contribute to 77% of the heat being supplied by sustainable sources. 

The region estimates that the geothermal plant will prevent the emission of approximately 11,000 tons of CO2 annually. Put into perspective, this reduction is equivalent to removing 5,000 cars from the road, making a notable contribution to the local efforts to combat climate change and improve air quality. 

Read more in article from Actu

Read more in article from Les Echos


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