With some nuclear plants likely to remain closed in the coming months, Prime Minister Charles Michel said on Friday that steps were being taken to avert any interruption to Belgium’s energy supply. “Our position is being strengthened in the face of this danger in terms of supply security,” Michel said after a restricted Council of Ministers meeting.
The Government is contacting potential sources in Belgium and abroad in order to stock up on available megawatts since the country’s nuclear generation will be limited in winter. Various options still need to be consigned in formal agreements.
“We’ve worked hard and very fast with the different partners in Belgium and with neighbouring countries (France and Germany),” Prime Minister Michel said. “Our position is being strengthened in terms of supply security. That does not yet mean that everything is resolved. We need to keep working in the coming hours and days with the Task Force,” he added in a brief statement to the press with Energy Minister Marie Christine Marghem.
Repeating information he gave on Thursday in Parliament, the Prime Minister stressed that there was no question of consumers footing the bill for Electrabel.
“I had the opportunity of saying this to the heads of Electrabel and Engie, and I confirm that we have mandated the Energy Minister to do a legal analysis of the various recourses or initiatives possible and to let us know whether Electrabel is assuming its responsibilities regarding supply security and also any possible impact on bills,” the Prime Minister stated.
In this regard, the Government has also mandated the Commission for the Regulation of Electricity and Gas (CREG) to “objectivise things and verify whether or not there is a link between an abnormal increase in electricity prices in Belgium, on one hand, and, on the other hand, a major unavailability of nuclear plants,” Michel said.