The South Korean conglomerate Hanwha, present in finance, chemicals, construction, energy and armaments, is making its entry into renewable energies in France. The British group RES announced on Monday August 9 the sale of its main French activities (excluding asset management and operation-maintenance activities) to the chaebol in Seoul. The amount was not disclosed, but the Korean press estimated it at some 730 million euros based on official documents.
RES “Has reached an agreement with Hanwha Solutions to potentially acquire its development and construction activities in France”, indicates the company, which intends to complete the operation in October after consultation with employee representatives. Present in ten countries, where it employs 3,000 people (240 in France), this family business created in 1981 is one of the main players in renewable energies in France. Its portfolio of projects in development represents a power of 5 gigawatts (GW), which will double the future capacities of the Asian group in Europe.
This type of asset is quite rare, and Hanwha Solutions was not alone in taking an interest in the projects of RES France, which signed an energy supply contract with SNCF in June. TotalEnergies, the German RWE and the Italian Enel, which are pushing the fires in low-carbon energies, were also candidates for the takeover, according to the Bloomberg agency. France, where 70% of electricity is of nuclear origin, has lagged behind Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy in renewables.
Hanwha therefore knows its development potential, even if a wind of anti-wind sling rose as the 2022 presidential election approached. “With the growing demand for sustainable energy, France is one of the most attractive markets for companies in the renewable energy sector, Hanwha notes. This is not only due to the high number of hours of sunshine and wind, but also to the well established and reliable tendering system of the French government. ”
He should therefore know, according to the group, a ” rapid growth “. The government has set an ambitious goal of carbon neutrality in 2050, in particular by increasing the share of renewables to 40% of electricity production by 2030. In the next six years, Paris must launch calls for tenders to plant operators for a total of 34 GW, the equivalent, in installed capacity, of around thirty nuclear reactors.
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