Fluxys Belgium – Regulated information: 2023 annual results

March 28, 2024

28 March 2024 6:15 PM – Regulated information: 2023 annual results

Consolidated net profit was EUR 77.4 million (EUR 83.7 million in 2022): reduction in the fair margin set by the tariff methodology for the LNG terminal Proposed allocation of profit submitted to the Annual General Meeting on 14 May 2024: gross dividend of EUR 1.40 per share (2023: EUR 1.40 per share)Supporting security of supply 24/7: maintenance of significant volumes to the Netherlands and Germany, and additional transmission capacity in serviceHydrogen and CO2 backbones take shape: preparations underway to offer the first hydrogen and CO2 transmission capacity in Belgium starting in 2026 First steps towards underground hydrogen storage: hydrogen injection test at our underground storage facility in LoenhoutSystem operator candidates Fluxys hydrogen and Fluxys c-grid: Two Fluxys Belgium subsidiaries ready to play a role in the future hydrogen and CO2 economy in Belgium  Strong partnerships to make Belgium a multi-molecule hub: conclusion of agreements with German, Dutch and British partners to connect the hydrogen and CO2 networksUsing seawater to reduce our CO2 emissions: commissioning of three additional Open Rack Vaporisers that use heat from seawater to convert LNG to gas

 

In this press release 

Key financial data

Key events 

On deck 24/7 for security of supply 

Additional transmission capacity 

Hydrogen and CO2 backbones take shape 

First steps towards underground hydrogen storage 

Fluxys hydrogen and Fluxys c-grid candidate network operators 

Strong partners for a solid hub 

Using sea water to reduce our CO2 emissions 

Fluxys Belgium – 2023 results (according to Belgian standards): proposed allocation of profit 

Financial outlook for 2024 

External audit 

Contact 

About Fluxys Belgium 

Annex 

 

Key financial data  

Income statement (in thousands of EUR) 31/12/2023 31/12/2022 Operating revenue 592,788 912,559 EBITDA* 285,809 323,167 EBIT* 129,570 147,305 Net profit 77,423 83,728 Balance sheet (in thousands of EUR) 31/12/2023 31/12/2022 Investments in property, plant and equipment for the period 167,654 105,525 Total property, plant and equipment 1,873,286 1,855,375 Equity 613,413 643,617 Net financial debt*  219,404 493,800 Total consolidated balance sheet 3,358,616 3,406,570 

*For definitions and reasons for using these indicators, see the annex.

Consolidated turnover and net profit  

Fluxys Belgium generated turnover of EUR 592.8 million in 2023. This represents a decrease of EUR 319.8 million compared with 2022, when turnover stood at EUR 912.6 million. This change is in line with the tariff methodology. The exceptional solidarity contribution of EUR 300 million in 2022 was not repeated in 2023. As a result, there was no impact on revenue in 2023 as there was in 2022.

The consolidated net profit decreased by EUR 83.7 million in 2022 to EUR 77.4 million in 2023, a drop of EUR 6.3 million. This change in the net profit was due mainly to the reduction in the fair margin set out in the tariff methodology for the LNG terminal.

Efficiency efforts in line with the regulated tariff model  

The 2020-2023 tariff methodology (established by the regulator, CREG) applies the principle that all reasonable costs, including interest and fair compensation, are covered by the regulated income. In addition, there are various incentives to control costs and guide and control aspects of company performance. By strictly controlling its operating costs, combined with significant efforts to improve efficiency, Fluxys Belgium has managed to achieve most regulatory objectives and to book those incentives in a period of major operational challenges. 

EUR 167.7 millionof investments  

In 2023 investments in property, plant and equipment totalled EUR 167.7 million, compared with EUR 105.5 million in 2022. Of this amount, EUR 50.4 million was spent on LNG infrastructure projects, EUR 9.1 million on storage-related projects and EUR 106.3 million on transmission-related projects, including EUR 51.3 million for the Desteldonk-Opwijk pipeline, which is ready to be used to carry hydrogen as soon as the market is ready.

 

Key events  

Supporting security of supply 24/7 

Throughout the year all our teams did everything they could to support security of supply in North-West Europe. The geopolitical situation resulting from the war in Ukraine has profoundly changed the dynamics on the gas markets and the direction of flows in Europe. In addition to supplying Belgium, suppliers continued to carry large quantities of natural gas to the Netherlands and Germany via the Belgian grid. At the same time, our underground storage facility in Loenhout got completely filled, enabling to go into the winter with a maximum buffer. In other words, our Belgian grid once again confirmed its role as an energy hub for Europe, with Zeebrugge as an important gateway.   

Additional transmission capacity  

Speed and adaptability are the watchwords when it comes to supporting the new supply situation in Europe. We reinforced the Zeebrugge-Brussels corridor with an additional pipeline to carry more natural gas inland from Zeebrugge while maintaining high flows to neighbouring countries. The Desteldonk-Zele section of the new pipeline commissioned in late 2023. Moreover, the pipeline has been designed to carry hydrogen as soon as the market is ready for it. This multi-molecule pipeline is our first concrete step in speeding up the energy transition.

Hydrogen and CO2 backbones take shape 

We aim to help industry decarbonise as much as possible. We are making every effort to offer the first transmission capacity for hydrogen and/or CO2 in 2026. After another year of intensive consultations with the industry, we are fully preparing the next steps and the newly constructed infrastructure on the Zeebrugge-Brussels axis for security of supply constitutes the first 44 kilometres of the future hydrogen backbone in Belgium. As for CO2, we are also working on a backbone for transporting captured CO2 to subsea storage facilities and sites where it will be reused. In addition to building backbones for hydrogen and CO2 we are also fully committed to developing terminals for importing carbon-neutral molecules and exporting CO2.

First steps towards underground hydrogen storage 

Our expertise, innovative strength and existing infrastructure are vital building blocks for the future energy system. Wherever possible we will repurpose our 4,000 km of pipelines so they can carry hydrogen and CO2. We are also running hydrogen injection tests to determine whether our unique underground storage facility in Loenhout can contribute to the hydrogen economy. Today it is a massive buffer for natural gas, in the future possibly for hydrogen.

System operator candidates: Fluxys hydrogen and Fluxys c-grid  

The federal Hydrogen Act, passed in July, regulates the appointment of the system operator responsible for planning, developing and operating the hydrogen transmission system in Belgium. In line with the Hydrogen Act, we founded our subsidiary Fluxys hydrogen, which has submitted its candidacy to serve as the operator of the hydrogen network. The federal government is expected to appoint the system operator in the first months of 2024. The regions are setting up a regulatory framework for CO2 transmission activities. In anticipation of this, together with Pipelink, Socofe and SFPIM, we founded our subsidiary Fluxys c-grid, a separate company ready to be a candidate for the planning, development and operation of the CO2 transmission infrastructure on Belgian territory.

Strong partners make a strong hub

Strong partnerships and connections with neighbouring countries are essential for the development of open-access transmission infrastructure for both hydrogen and CO2. Together with OGE and Wintershall Dea in Germany we are exploring a cross-border pipeline for the transmission of CO2. With OGE we are also looking at a cross-border hydrogen connection between Belgium and Germany. With British National Gas we are working also in the context of the energy transition. And with Dutch hydrogen system operator Hynetwork Services we are looking into the possibilities to link our respective hydrogen networks. By connecting our hydrogen and CO2 grids with those of neighbouring countries, we are developing our country as a multi-molecule hub for the economy in both Belgium and North-West Europe.

Reducing our CO2 emissions with sea water

Our goal is to be climate-neutral in 2050. The first milestones are to halve our greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 compared to 2017 and to achieve a 67% reduction in 2030. In 2023 at our LNG terminal in Zeebrugge we commissioned three additional open-rack vaporisers (ORVs) that use heat from seawater to regasify LNG. These ORVs replace traditional heating units, resulting in much more efficient energy consumption and significantly lower CO2 emissions at the terminal.

Fluxys Belgium – 2023 results (according to Belgian standards): proposed allocation of profit

Fluxys Belgium NV/SA’s net profit was EUR 79.5 million, compared to EUR 84.0 million in 2022.  

At the Annual General Meeting on 14 May 2024, Fluxys Belgium will propose a gross dividend of EUR 1.40 per share.  

Taking into account a profit of EUR 93.1 million carried over from the previous financial year and a withdrawal of EUR 27.5 million from the reserves, the Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting that the profits be allocated as follows: 

EUR 98.4 million as a dividend payout  EUR 101.7 million as profit to be carried forward 

If that profit allocation proposal is adopted, the total gross dividend for the 2023 financial year will be EUR 1.40 per share. This amount will be payable from 22 May 2024 onwards.  

 

Financial outlook for 2024

Under the 2024-2027 tariff methodology, the net profit from Belgian regulated activities is determined based on various regulatory parameters, including equity invested, financial structure and incentives.  

The tariff reductions for transmission and storage have no impact on profits 

The federal energy regulator, the CREG, approved in 2023 new transmission and storage tariffs for the 2024-2027 regulatory period. For transmission tariffs, the 10% tariff reduction dating from July 2022 will be extended to the 2024-2027 regulatory period. Storage tariffs are down 20% compared to 2023 tariffs. These tariff reductions have no impact on the profits of the Fluxys Belgium group.  

The favourable development in transmission tariffs is mainly due to additional capacity sales to support security of supply in Germany and the Netherlands. Market conditions were also more favourable than expected for storage, resulting in higher-than-expected revenues. As provided for in the regulatory framework, these additional revenues are set aside in the adjustment account and are gradually returned to the market via a tariff reduction and via investments aimed at strengthening security of supply and supporting the energy transition. 

Agreement between Fluxys Belgium and CREG on the fair margin 

In February 2024, Fluxys Belgium and CREG agreed to propose to the market, via a public consultation, adaptations to the tariff methodology for the natural gas transmission system, the natural gas storage facility and the LNG facility for the 2024-2027 regulatory period.  

The tariff methodology, adopted in June 2022, provides for the use of a risk-free rate of 1.68% to calculate the margin for the four years of the 2024-2027 regulatory period. In the current context of high volatility in interest rates, an overall upward trend over the past two years and particularly high inflation in 2022, a number of changes are needed in order to guarantee operators a fair remuneration on capital invested in regulated assets, and to enable them to make the investments necessary to carry out their missions.

The public consultation on changes to the tariff methodology will be held from 14 March to 14 April 2024. The impact of these proposed changes will be covered by the adjustment account. The tariffs set by CREG for the period 2024-2027 therefore remain unchanged at this stage. 

Geopolitical developments  
Based on the information available at the time of this report, it is extremely difficult to anticipate the impact of the war in Ukraine. In light of the current understanding of the situation, the essential nature of the company’s activities and its regulatory framework, at present we do not anticipate the war and the current resulting measures and market developments having any significant negative impact on the consolidated result of the Fluxys Belgium group in 2024. 

 

External audit  

The auditor confirmed that its audit work, which has been substantially completed, has not revealed any significant correction that should be made to the accounting information included in this press release.

 

Contact 

Financial and accounting data: Filip De Boeck  
+32 2 282 79 89 – filip.deboeck@fluxys.com

Press Office: +32 471 95 00 24 • press@fluxys.com 

 

About Fluxys Belgium

Fluxys Belgium is a Euronext-listed subsidiary of energy infrastructure group Fluxys. The company is headquartered in Belgium, has 900 employees and operates 4,000 kilometres of pipelines, a liquefied natural gas terminal with an annual regasification capacity of 174 TWh and an underground storage facility.

As a purpose-led company, Fluxys Belgium together with its stakeholders contributes to a better society by shaping a bright energy future. Building on the unique assets of its infrastructure and its commercial and technical expertise, Fluxys Belgium is committed to transporting hydrogen, biomethane or any other carbon-neutral energy carrier as well as CO2, accommodating the capture, usage and storage of the latter.

Attachment

Annex press release 2023 annual results

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