(Corrects investment numbers in headline and paragraph 1 to 5-6 bln euros)
FRANKFURT, March 11 (Reuters) - TenneT, the largest electrical grid operator in the Netherlands and Germany, said on Friday it planned to invest 5 billion-6 billion euros ($5.96-7.15 billion) a year to prepare grids for renewable energy and increase connections in north Europe.
TenneT, which is 100% owned by the Dutch state, said it would continue talks with the Dutch government to ensure a “durable equity solution” for its increasing investment portfolio would be implemented soon.
The company reported operating profit of 796 million euros, a 5.7% increase over 2019 on turnover of 4.450 billion euros, up from 4.084 billion 2019.
TenneT, which brings electricity to 42 million customers in the Netherlands and Germany, invested 3.4 billion euros in grids in both countries, 11.4% more than a year earlier. Of that amount invested, 62% was in Germany.
TenneT operates 23,500 km of high-voltage grids, making it one of the region’s largest investors in the planned energy transition to low-carbon fuels.
Much of its investment goes into integrating more intermittent wind, solar and biomass power in the region’s grids, new cross-border lines and network upgrades.
As well as building wind turbine connections off the German and Dutch coasts, it is also working in the British and Danish North Sea.
TenneT’s net interest-bearing debt position increased by 27% to 12 billion euros year on year at the end of December.
TenneT is in talks with the German government, which is interested in buying a stake. The talks are sensitive as German and Dutch taxpayers could end up financing grids beyond their own borders.
$1 = 0.8389 euros Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Kirsti Knolle and Edmund Blair