electrabel activities report 2008


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Page 1: Electrabel Activities Report 2008


Page 2: Electrabel Activities Report 2008


02 SERVING 03 Preface

05 A bit of history

07 Management bodies

08 LEADING 10 Part of a world leader in energy

12 Market leader in the Benelux

14 PRODUCING 16 Historical energy producer and supplier in Belgium

19 Electricity and natural gas for 5.6 million customers

21 Diversifi ed generating facilities of 11 500 MW

23 Trading and portfolio management

24 CHALLENGING 26 Sustainable energy production and supply

27 Sustainable energy production

27 Renewable energy for 1 million households by 2015

30 Use continuously less fuel

31 Reducing global environmental impact

34 Sustainable energy supply

34 Saving up to 30% on energy consumption

and own CO2-free production

36 250 000 customers opt for green energy

37 Research and innovation, essential links

38 INSPIRING40 Social involvement

40 Active player on the job market

41 Opportunities for employees

42 Support integration on the job market

42 Safety, always a priority

43 Improving relationships with stakeholders

44 Partnerships in solidarity and environmental protection

45 Exemplary function



Electrabel, Activities report 2008“The story behind the fi gures” refl ects Electrabel’s position

within the GDF SUEZ Group. The report describes the company’s

activities and its most important core fi gures in Belgium. The

details relate to the year 2008, except for the fi gures on the

production capacity refl ecting the situation mid-2009 after the

exchange of generation assets with E.ON.

1Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 3: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

A company at the service of the public

This Activities Report marks the beginning of a

new era in the history of Electrabel, as it is the

fi rst such report since the merger between GDF

and SUEZ went ahead on 22 July 2008. The mer-

ger, which saw the emergence of a world player

in energy, has brought many changes for our

company, both operational and organizational.

In the course of this report, the reader will

become acquainted with the Electrabel of today,

its position within the GDF SUEZ Group, its

prospects and ambitions.

GDF SUEZ is organized into six business lines, of which

GDF SUEZ Energy Europe & International is one. This

business line comprises fi ve business areas that are

demarcated geographically. Electrabel develops many

im portant activities within the GDF SUEZ Energy Benelux

& Germany business area. Electrabel is also the brand

name under which the Group positions itself as a

producer of electricity and a seller of electricity and

natural gas in the Benelux. On this market, we have

nearly 9 000 employees, generating capacity of nearly

16 000 MW and more than 6 million industrial, business

and residential customers.

In this environment that is experiencing deep-going

changes, our company has many advantages to offer.

To begin with, our operational excellence: members of

staff who, each day afresh, put their know-how

and experience at the disposal of our customers, and

who enjoy impressive opportunities for personal and

career development within GDF SUEZ. Furthermore,

we have balanced, diversifi ed and effi cient generating

facilities, recently augmented with new gas-fi red

power stations in Belgium and the Netherlands.

On top of this, there are currently large coal-fi red

power stations, cogeneration units and biomass units

under construction in Belgium, the Netherlands and

Germany. Lastly, there are our customers, to whom we

offer solutions that are ever more fi nely tuned to their

requirements, and who have placed their confi dence in

us over the years.

8 750 ELECTRABELEMPLOYEESsupply electricity and natural gas daily to



2 3Electrabel Activities report 2008Electrabel Activities report 2008Electrabel Activities report 2008 32

Page 4: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Let us be clear: Belgium can no longer be consi-

dered as an isolated market for electricity. Our

country, along with the Netherlands, Germany

and France, forms the “electricity hub” of North-

West Europe, where electricity prices are con-

verging to a large extent. It is, therefore, only to

be expected that GDF SUEZ approaches its

investments and manages its facilities in a global

way within this integrated market, especially wit-

hin the Benelux-Germany region.

Nevertheless, this report focuses mainly on giving

a detailed picture of our positions and activities in

Belgium. This is a deliberate choice on our part:

Belgium is the country in which we have our roots,

and, mindful of the Group’s history, we still have

considerable market share there.

However, our market share in Belgium has been

reduced as a result of various initiatives by the

Group to open up the Belgian market to new

operators. We currently hold about 65% of the

market for electricity generation. This development

– which is mainly symbolic, as national fi gures do

not mean much on the unifi ed market – does not

alter the Group’s overall position. It mainly refl ects

the capacity swap agreement with the E.ON Group,

under which the capacity that we have ceded in

Belgium is offset by new capacity acquired in

Germany. On the completion of this operation,

GDF SUEZ has 10% of the market for electricity

generation in the Benelux-Germany region.

For Electrabel in Belgium, the past few months

also saw the introduction of an ambitious plan for

combating climate change under the slogan

“Together for less CO2”. Under the terms of this

plan, we have made various commitments. To

invest in renewable energy sources so as to supply

1 million households with green energy by the year

2015. To further improve the environmental perfor-

mance of our conventional generating facilities by,

among other things, making our carbon footprint

even smaller and reducing polluting emissions

even more. And, lastly, to cut down the CO2 emis-

sions of our day-to-day activities other than electri-

city generation. However, it doesn’t stop there, as

we have invited our industrial, business and resi-

dential customers to join us in this project.

The fi rst results are more than encouraging. In

2008, we invested € 250 million in reducing our

CO2 emissions, structurally avoiding emissions of

456 000 tonnes of CO2 as a result. In addition, we

have increased the proportion of renewable

energy sources in our generating mix and produ-

ced 1.9 TWh of electricity that is 100% renewable

and 100% Belgian - enough to supply more than

530 000 households. And, when it comes to our

day-to-day activities, we are already a quarter of

the way towards our goal. All these efforts have

not gone unnoticed by our customers: in the

space of six months, nearly 250 000 residential

customers have opted for our GreenPlus pro-

duct, making Electrabel the largest green energy

supplier in the country.

Now, we have to continue these efforts. We must

not allow the current economic and fi nancial crisis

to knock us off course. GDF SUEZ will continue to

invest and recruit in order to meet these challen-

ges, along with its customers, both in Belgium and

in all the other markets where we are present.

Brussels, September 2009

A BIT OF HISTORYThe public limited company Electrabel

was established on 8 August 1905, called

‘Electriciteitsmaatschappij der Schelde (Société

d’Électricité de l’Escaut)’.

In 1956, the Electriciteitsmaatschappij der

Schelde merged with three other companies

and the ‘Verenigde Energiebedrijven van het

Scheldeland’, abbreviated as Ebes, came into


By this time, after numerous mergers, the ‘Société

Intercommunale Belge d’Électricité’, or Intercom,

established in 1901, had grown into one of the

most important energy companies in Belgium.

In addition, the fusion of further energy

companies ensured that a third large private

energy group, Unerg, came into existence

in 1976.

On 10 July 1990, the exceptional general

assembly of Ebes and Intercom authorized a

regrouping into a single private company,

whereby Unerg’s activities could be incorpo-

rated over time. Several smaller businesses

were also involved in this operation. The name

Ebes was changed to Electrabel at this stage.

The company’s activities –energy sales, elec-

tricity production and network exploitation

(distribution and transmission)– were then lim-

ited to Belgium.

By the end of the 90s, the company’s activities,

to which the energy trading then belonged,

achieved a European dimension. Electrabel Sophie Dutordoir Jean-Pierre HansenDirector – General Manager Chief Executive Offi cer

4 Electrabel Activities report 2008 5

Page 5: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

established subsidiaries in the Netherlands,

Luxembourg, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal,

Poland, Hungary and Germany and entered into

partnerships with local energy companies. The

company developed into a European player which

carried its operational and commercial activities

out mainly under the Electrabel brand name.

On 10 July 2007, SUEZ, an important immediate

and indirect shareholder for many years,

became 100% owner of the company after a

public squeeze-out bid on the Electrabel-shares

it did not as yet own. The Electrabel share

was therefore withdrawn from the Euronext

Brussels stock exchange after a listing of

seventeen years.

On 24 July that same year, Electrabel took

over SUEZ’s participation in SUEZ-TRACTEBEL

–this entailed, amongst other things, SUEZ’s

international energy activities– whereby the

company’s horizons expanded across many


The Gaz de France and SUEZ general share-

holders’ meetings approved the merger of both

groups on 16 July 2008. The establishment of the

international energy company GDF SUEZ was ac-

companied by a new organization that reclassifi ed

and regrouped the activities of both groups.

The public limited company Electrabel continued

to exist as a separate legal entity, with a range of

direct and indirect participations in subsidiaries

within and outside Europe. However, the activi-

ties carried out under the brand name Electrabel,

GDF SUEZ Group, were, from that moment on-

wards, limited to the Benelux region.


Strategy Committee


Jean-Pierre HANSEN


Jean-François CIRELLI


Emmanuel van INNIS


Jean-Marie DAUGER




Audit Committee





Jean-Pierre RUQUOIS

Appointment and

Remuneration Committee




Baroness VAN den BERGHE


Joint statutory auditors

DELOITTE Company auditors

Represented by:

Laurent BOXUS and


Company auditors

ERNST & YOUNG Company auditors

Represented by:

Pierre ANCIAUX and


Company auditors

Board of Directors


Jean-François CIRELLI

Chief Executive Offi cer

and Vice-Chairman:

Jean-Pierre HANSEN1



Emmanuel van INNIS





Jean-Marie DAUGER

Pierre DRION


Yves de GAULLE

Baron van GYSEL de MEISE



Jean-Pierre RUQUOIS

Baroness VAN den BERGHE




Secretary to the Board:

Patrick van der BEKEN PASTEEL


1 The Board of Directors has delegated the operational management of the company to the Chief Executive Offi cer and suffi cient special authority to enable him to carry out operational management duties.

6 Electrabel Activities report 2008 7Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 6: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Being part of the world-wide energy group GDF SUEZ gives Electrabel powerful trump cards to develop its energy activities in the Benelux. As the market leader, the company sold

97 000 GWh OF ELECTRICITY AND 72 000 GWh OF NATURAL GAS in this region in 2008

01LEADING 8 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | LEADING 9LEADING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 7: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Electrabel forms part of GDF SUEZ, one of

the leading energy providers in the world,

active across the entire energy value chain,

in electricity and natural gas, upstream to


The GDF SUEZ Group develops its businesses

(energy, energy services and environment) around

a responsible-growth model to take up the great

challenges: responding to energy needs, fi ghting

against climate change and maximizing the use

of resources. The Group relies on diversifi ed

supply sources, as well as fl exible and highly

effi cient power generation, in order to provide

innovative energy solutions to individuals, cities

and businesses.

The GDF SUEZ Group is organized into six business

lines: fi ve in energy and one in environment.

The business line GDF SUEZ Energy Europe &

International comprises fi ve business areas that

are demarcated geographically.

The GDF SUEZ Energy Benelux & Germany

business area is responsible for the production

of electricity and the sale of electricity, natural

gas and energy services in Belgium, the

Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany,

where it is also responsible for portfolio

management. In the Benelux, where the Group

wants to consolidate market leadership, the

operational tasks are carried out by and under

the brand name Electrabel, GDF SUEZ Group

(in Luxembourg, electricity production takes

place under the brand name Twinerg, GDF

SUEZ Group). In Germany, where GDF SUEZ

Energie Deutschland is responsible for the

activities under the brand name GDF SUEZ, the

Group aims to further develop its activities and

reinforce its position. Major industrial customers

active in multiple countries are supplied under

the brand name GDF SUEZ Global Energy.


GDF SUEZ: organization

Energy FranceEnergy Europe

& International

Global Gas



EnvironnementInfrastructures Energy Services

Energy Benelux

& GermanyEnergy Europe Energy

Latin America


Middle East, Asia

& Africa


North America


GDF SUEZ: key fi gures 2008

200 000 employees throughout the world incl. 134 600 in energy and energy services

and 65 400 in environment

68 400 MW of installed power-production capacity

€ 83.1 billion in 2008 revenues

1 200 researchers and experts at 8 research & development centres

Electricity: No.1 independent producer

in the world

• 5th largest producer and marketer in Europe

• 1st in Belgium, 2nd in France

Natural gas and infrastructures:

No.1 in Europe

• 1st gas buyer in Europe

• 1st transmission and distribution network

• 2nd largest storage operator

Liquefi ed natural gas (LNG):

No.1 in the world

• 1st buyer and importer in Europe

• 2nd largest LNG terminal operator in Europe

• 1st importer in the United States

Energy Services: No. 1 in Europe

• 1st supplier of energy effi ciency and

environmental services in Europe

Environmental Services: No.2 in the world

• 2nd supplier of water and waste management

services in the world

10 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | LEADING 11LEADING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 8: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

GermanyElectricity sales: 10 684 GWhNatural gas sales: 3 417 GWhGenerating capacity: 1 977 MWCapacity renewable energy: 15 MWEmployees: 395

Executive committee The Group’s energy activities in the GDF SUEZ Energy Benelux & Germany business area are conducted under the

leadership of Sophie Dutordoir, Chief Executive Offi cer, who chairs the meetings of the Executive Committee. This

Committee groups the managers of the operational and functional departments. It is composed as follows (situation at

20 July 2009):

Patrick Baeten: Legal affairs, Alfred Becquaert: HR & IT, Eric Bosman: Portfolio Management, Chris De Groof: Strategy and Sustainable Development, Sophie Dutordoir: CEO, Fernand Grifnée: Communications, Jean-Pierre Hansen: Chief Executive Offi cer Electrabel, Alfred Hofman: The Netherlands and Germany, Marc Josz: Marketing & Sales Belgium and Luxembourg, Louis Martens: Finance, Michel Sirat: TPM Europe, Philippe Van Troeye: Generation Belgium and Luxembourg

The NetherlandsElectricity sales: 23 307 GWhNatural gas sales: 13 303 GWhGenerating capacity: 4 067 MW*Capacity renewable energy: 71 MW Employees: 1 184

* This fi gure takes into account 270 MW

of drawing rights at disposal of E.ON

(see page 17)

BelgiumElectricity sales: 70 022 GWhNatural gas sales: 58 690 GWhGenerating capacity: 11 532 MWCapacity renewable energy: 410 MWEmployees: 7 548

LuxembourgElectricity sales: 4 092 GWhGenerating capacity: 376 MWEmployees: 21

Electrabel in Benelux:key fi gures

• largest electricity producer in Belgium

• largest electricity supplier in Belgium

• second largest natural gas supplier in Belgium

• largest producer and supplier

of green electricity in Belgium

• largest electricity producer in the Netherlands

8 750 employees 3.9 million electricity customers

2.15 million natural gas customers97 400 GWh of electricity sales

72 000 GWh of natural gas sales16 000 MW of generating capacity

Business area GDF SUEZ Energy Benelux & Germany : key fi gures

9 150 employees 4 million electricity customers2.2 million natural gas customers113 000 GWh of electricity sales*76 000 GWh of natural gas sales*17 950 MW of generating capacity

* includes sales of 5 TWh electricity and 0.5 TWh natural gas outside the area


In this market, the company sells electricity, natural

gas, energy products and energy services to

residential, professional and industrial customers and

public institutions. It also generates electricity and

heat in a diversifi ed production park. These activities

are supported and optimized by portfolio management

and trading operations of the GDF SUEZ Group on

the European and international energy markets.

Electrabel supplies electricity and natural gas to six

million customers in the Benelux. It sold 97 400 GWh

of electricity and 72 000 GWh of natural gas on this

market in 2008. The company offers its customers

innovative energy solutions with added value and a

customized service. To develop energy products and

services, it gets the most out of the synergy between

electricity and natural gas offered by the GDF SUEZ


The company manages diversifi ed generating

facilities of 16 000 MW in the Benelux. They consist

of power stations using renewable energy sources,

power stations working on fossil fuels, such as

natural gas and coal, pumped storage power stations

and nuclear power stations. Electrabel continuously

invests in upgrading its existing generating facilities

and the building of new production units, whereby a

lot of attention is given to renewable energy sources

and low-carbon production methods. The emission

of greenhouse gases by the production park is one of

the lowest in Europe. New development projects in

Belgium (Amercoeur CCGT-power station, 420 MW;

Sidmar conventional power station, 305 MW …) and

in the Netherlands (Flevo CCGT-power station,

872 MW; high-yield coal power station in Rotterdam,

736 MW …) ensure that Electrabel has suffi cient

generating capacity in the Benelux and maintains a

balance between its sales and production portfolio.

Electrabel has 8 750 employees in the Benelux region.

The company is constantly recruiting new employees

and offers numerous opportunities to enable them

to build a challenging and enriching career within the

international GDF SUEZ Group.

12 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | LEADING 13LEADING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 9: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

The market leadership of Electrabel has grown historically.To date, the company remains the



14 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | PRODUCING PRODUCING | Electrabel Activities report 2008 15

Page 10: Electrabel Activities Report 2008


Electrabel in Belgium: key fi gures


Electricity sales 70 000 GWh

Natural gas sales 58 700 GWh

Electricity customers 3.7 million

Natural gas customers 1.9 million


Generating capacity 11 532 MW

Electricity generation 65 000 GWh

Heat generation 6 250 GWh

Renewable energy

Generating capacity 410 MW

Share in total generating capacity 3.6%

Share in total electricity generation 2.9%


Employees 7 548

form of drawing rights on the Doel and Tihange

nuclear power stations (of which 270 MW are

supplied in the Netherlands). In exchange, the

GDF SUEZ Group acquired approximately

1 700 MW of generating capacity in Germany

whereby it has better balanced its sales and

production portfolio on the German energy

market and strengthened its market position.

Share in generating capacity in Belgium

in %

Electrabel is the historical producer and

supplier of energy in Belgium. The company

can boast more than a century’s experience in

generating and selling energy. Today, it is the

largest supplier of electricity in the country,

the second largest supplier of natural gas

and the largest producer of electricity.

Following the liberalization of the energy mar-

kets, the company completely dismantled and

transferred its earlier operational distribution

and transmission network activities in Belgium

in the period 2001-2008 to newly established

independent businesses. Electrabel also contri-

buted to a better competitive position of other

electricity producers on the Belgian market, by

exchanging and providing a part of its genera-

ting capacity.

Contributing to more competition in the area

of production

In 2009, the electricity producers SPE and

E.ON acquired approximately 2 000 MW of the

generating capacity from Electrabel, whereby the

competition on the energy market signifi cantly

increased in Belgium. This operation constituted

a part of the commitments that the GDF SUEZ

Group and Electrabel made in 2006 following

the merger announced between GDF and SUEZ.

The share of the company in generating capacity

in Belgium, which amounted to approximately

83% at the end of 2008, will therefore fall to

64% in 2010.

SPE, the second largest electricity producer

in Belgium, which already owned a share of

161.5 MW in the capacity of the Doel and

Tihange nuclear power stations, acquired addi-

tional nuclear power of 350 MW.

The German power company E.ON acquired

941 MW of Electrabel’s production means by

purchasing the Langerlo conventional power

station and the Vilvoorde CCGT power station,

as well as 770 MW of nuclear capacity in the

Others Electrabel


Share of generating capacityCO2 emission-free 52.8%

Share of electricity generation CO2 emission-free 64.2%

Emission of CO2 209 g/kWh

Emission of SO2 109 mg/kWh

Emission of NOx 151 mg/kWh


Share of generating capacity certifi ed ISO/EMAS* 89.1%

Share of electricity generation certifi ed ISO/EMAS* 89.7%

* power stations operated by Electrabel

16 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | PRODUCING 17

Page 11: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Electrabel sells electricity and natural gas to

5.6 million residential, professional and in-

dustrial customers in Belgium.

In 2008, the sales volumes, wholesale included,

amounted to 70 TWh of electricity (28% re-

tail, 64% business and 8% wholesale) and

58.7 TWh of natural gas (68% retail, 29%

business and 3% wholesale). The sales vol-

umes of the company depend on the size of

its customer portfolio, the general economic

situation which specifi cally infl uences industri-

al customers’ energy consumption, the harsh-

ness of the winter months and customers’ ef-

forts to make rational use of energy.

In Flanders, where the energy markets have

been completely free since 1 July 2003,

Electrabel has a market share of 66.9% for

electricity and 69.7% for natural gas. In Wallonia

and Brussels, where the energy markets have

only been open for all users since 1 January

2007, its market share amounts to respectively

60.2% and 94.6% for electricity and 55.9% and

94.1% for natural gas. The market share of the

company in Belgium as a whole amounted to

67.9% for electricity and 70.2% for natural gas

(fi gures at the end of 2008, expressed in total

number supply points; source: CREG).

Electrabel uses various channels to inform and

advise customers, as well as to answer their

questions. The website www.electrabel.be

pro vides –in addition to information on the

products on offer– numerous practical tools to

limit energy consumption, to consult invoices,

to accomplish formalities, for example, when

relocating… (see page 34). The call centre,

that the company has expanded since 1999,

now employs almost a thousand. In 2008, 279

new staff were hired to reinforce the services.

With the same purpose, Electrabel started

establishing new contact points in the big cities.

In 2009, it is opening the fi rst ‘Electrabel shops’

in Antwerp and Brussels. In 2010, a third will

open its doors in Namur. The shops supplement

its network of existing offi ces, for example, at

De Post/La Poste. Industrial customers are

invited to contact their account manager. The

company works together with accredited

partners who are all specialists in their energy



Energy distribution and transmission


The liberalization of the energy market in

Belgium led to the unbundling of the production

and sales activities, on the one hand, and the

net activities, on the other. In 2001, Electrabel

transferred its former activities in the area of

the high voltage network for electricity to the

newly established company Elia. Its activities

with regard to the electricity and natural gas dis-

tribution networks in Flanders and in Brussels

were taken over in 2006 by Eandis and Brussels

Network Operations (BNO) respectively.

These businesses operate on behalf of the

distribution system operators (DSOs, the for-

mer intermunicipal companies) which were

appointed for the exploitation, the mainte-

nance and the development of the distribution

networks. A similar operation followed later in

Wallonia. In that region, the Opérateur des

Réseaux Gaz & Électricité (ORES) has been in

charge of managing the distribution networks

from 2009. The minority shares that Electrabel

still has in Elia and in the distribution system op-

erators will be phased out gradually.

Organization of the net activities in Belgium

Activity Body in charge Executor

Shares that

Electrabel has

in the capital

Electricity transmission* Elia Elia 24.35% in Elia

Electricity and natural gas distribution in Flanders

Distribution system operators**

Eandis30% in the mixed DSOs

Electricity and natural gas distribution in Brussels

Sibelga BNO 30% in Sibelga

Electricity and natural gas distribution in Wallonia

Distribution system operators**

ORES30% in the mixed DSOs

* The transmission of natural gas is undertaken by the company Fluxys (Electrabel has a 44.75% share


** The previous intermunicipal companies were appointed as distribution system operators.

Natural gas sales

by Electrabel in Belgium

in TWh - wholesale included

Electricity sales

by Electrabel in Belgium

in TWh - wholesale included

18 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | PRODUCING 19PRODUCING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 12: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

In Belgium, Electrabel has a generating

capacity of 11 532 MW. The composition

of the production park is an example of the

GDF SUEZ Group strategy of having a diversifi ed

park in the area of technology and fuels.

The generating facilities must offer an answer

to today’s energy-challenges. This consists of

securing a guaranteed supply for customers, at

economically acceptable and stable conditions

and with respect for the environment, and

in particular climate change.

The company manages its generating facilities

dynamically. It continuously undertakes moder-

nization using the most energy-effi cient and least

environmentally taxing techniques.

52.8% of the capacity of the park in Belgium

consists of CO2-free power stations (nuclear

power stations, pumped storage power stations,

renewable energy) and 23% of CO2-poor

power stations (natural gas-fi red CCGT-units and

combined heat and power).

Electrabel has over forty years’ experience with

nuclear power and is one of the most important

operators in Europe in this fi eld. In Belgium, it

has seven nuclear reactors in Doel and Tihange.

These have a total capacity of 5 865 MW and

ensure 54% of the total electricity production in


The company also heads the pack in the area of

cogeneration: its generating capacity in Belgium

comprises of more than 750 MW that was

mostly established in cooperation with its

industrial customers. Electrabel has also acquired

important knowledge concerning the combined

cycle gas turbine technology. In the past 10 years,

the company has built six CCGT-power stations

in Belgium.

The importance of renewable energy sources

(wind energy, hydroelectric energy, biomass, solar

energy) in Electrabel’s production park increases

every year. In fi ve years’ time, the company tripled

its renewable capacity in Belgium from 140 MW

to 410 MW. By 2015, Electrabel aims to have

suffi cient capacity to supply 1 million households

completely with green electricity.

In 2008, Electrabel’s power stations produced

65 000 GWh of electricity and 6 254 GWh

of heat. 64.2% of the electricity generation

occurred without CO2 emissions. The quantity

of carbon dioxide that the park emits per

produced kilowatt-hour is among the lowest in

Europe (see page 29).

The electricity and natural gas prices in


The electricity and natural gas prices for residential

customers in Belgium are compiled from various

components: the energy price, the distribution

and transmission charges and the surcharges

and the VAT. Like all energy suppliers, Electrabel

only determines the energy price component,

which forms approximately half of the total price

for electricity and two-thirds for natural gas. This

price component strongly depends (especially for

natural gas) on the fuel costs on the international

markets (coal, natural gas, fuel oil) which can

rise and fall considerably at short notice. These

fl uctuations are then refl ected –with some delay–

in the electricity and natural gas prices for the


In 2008, the increase in fuel prices, which

continued from mid-2007 to the fi rst half of the

year, along with the increased network tariffs,

caused an increase of up to 20-25% in electricity

prices and of up to 40% in natural gas prices. The

fall in fuel prices in the second half of the year

only had a positive effect on the energy price

component in 2009 due to the lagged effect.

A similar, inverse, mechanism takes place with

price increases as a result of an increase in fuel


All information on the price formulae offered by

Electrabel to its customers can be found on the

website www.electrabel.be.

For industrial customers, the wholesale prices

on the electricity markets –the Benelux, France

and Germany forms one integrated wholesale

market– determine the most important price

trends. These depend on, amongst other things,

trends in fuel prices, the CO2 price and the

balance between supply and demand.


Generating capacity of Electrabel in Belgium

in GW

The important drop in 2009 is the result of handing over capacity to SPE and E.ON (see page 17)

Composition of electricity and natural gas

prices for residential customers in Belgium

in % - year 2008 - distribution system operator IMEWO - electricity 3 500 kWh/year - natural gas 23 250 kWh/year

VAT, surcharges Transmission Distribution Energy (includes for natural gas the transmission costs)

Electricity and fuel market prices

January 2007 = 100

Coal (API#2) Natural gas (Grp) Oil (Brent IPE) Electricity

(baseload, Y+1)



















20 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | PRODUCING 21PRODUCING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 13: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Electrabel’s operational activities in Belgium

(production and sales of energy) are supported

by the trading and portfolio management

activities of GDF SUEZ.

The Group is active on all trading markets in

Europe where it sells and purchases electricity,

fuels, CO2 credits … Portfolio Management

assures the supply of power stations with fuels

and ensures an optimal use of the means of


As a result of these activities, Electrabel is able

to offer its customers in Belgium, who want

to actively manage and optimize their energy

portfolio, a complete and diverse competitive

offer of innovative risk management products

and services in the area of the supply of energy

commodities, customized complex solutions,

green products, emission rights ...


Nuclear power station CCGT Conventional power station

Combined heat and power

Energy recovery, gas turbine, turbojet

Hydroelectric power station, wind farm, photovoltaic panel

Pumped storage power station

Nuclear fuel Natural gas Coal Biomass, hydroelectric, wind, photovoltaic

Oil, waste, blast furnace gas

Pumped storage

Share of power stations

in Electrabel's generating

capacity in Belgium


Share of power stations

in Electrabel’s electricity

generation in Belgium


Share of fuels in Electrabel’s

generating capacity

in Belgium


Share of fuels in Electrabel’s

electricity generation

in Belgium


Zandvliet Power







Saint-Ghislain Amercoeur

Plate Taille





Generating facilities of Electrabel in Belgium

conventional power stations, CCGT, combined heat and power, nuclear power stations – mid-2009

CCGT Combined heat and power Conventional power station Nuclear power station Pumped storage power station

22 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | PRODUCING 23

Page 14: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

We have never backed away from the environmental challenges that energy companies face.

64% OF THE ENERGY THAT WE PRODUCE IS CO2-FREE. Electrabel also helps its customers to limit their energyconsumption and reduce their carbon footprint. The main purpose?



Electrabel Activities report 2008 | CHALLENGING24 25CHALLENGING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 15: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Sustainable ENERGY PRODUCTION and supply

Electrabel’s 10 commitments within the scope of its ‘Together for less CO2’ plan• to produce electricity from renewable energy sources in Belgium

for one million households by 2015

• to invest 500 million euros by 2015 to improve the energy effi ciency

of conventional power plants

• to continue to limit the overall environmental impact of generation activities

• to help customers reduce their energy consumption by up to 30%

• to work with customers in a way that they produce low CO2 energy

• to offer a range of green energy

• to encourage mobility using natural gas and electricity

• to maintain a dialogue with stakeholders in a transparent way

• to reduce the CO2 emissions of daily activities by 21%

• to encourage research and development of non-polluting technologies

Electrabel is the largest producer and supplier

of green electricity in Belgium. At the end of

2008, the company had 464 MW in wind

farms, hydroelectric power plants, biomass

plants and photovoltaic panels. Together, this

produced 1 859 GWh, enough to cover the

electricity consumption of 530 000 households

(annual consumption of 3 500 kWh/family).

Electrabel’s ambition is to have a produc-

tion park in Belgium with renewable energy

sources that, by 2015, will be suffi cient to

supply 1 million families entirely with green

energy. In order to achieve this, it is aiming

to install 600 MW of additional generating

capacity in seven years. As with other pro-

jects, the decision to invest in renewable

energy projects depends on their economic

profi tability, as well as their social and ecological



Renewable energy-based electricity production of Electrabel in Belgium

in GWh

2008 2007 2008 / 2007

Hydroelectric 73 74 -1.4%

Wind 147 116 +26.7%

Biomass 1 638 1 217 +34.6%

Photovoltaic 0.7 0

Total 1 859 1 407 +32.1%

Renewable energy for 1 million households by 2015

Sustainable development has a central

position in the strategy of the entire

GDF SUEZ Group. Its activities are inextrica-

bly linked with the environmental problems

and the challenges society is faced with. The

Group can provide energy and environmen-

tal solutions necessary for a sustainable de-

velopment of society and the economy. GDF

SUEZ’s ambition is to become one of the

most important references for sustainable

development in the utilities sector.

Electrabel contributes to the global objectives

of the Group throughout its range of activities.

The company strives to combine economic,

social and ecological concerns in the most

optimal manner. Already, in 1995, ten years

before the entry into force of the Kyoto

Protocol, Electrabel defi ned a strategy and

a plan for the rational use of energy and the

management of CO2 emissions, looking

towards 2005. In 2008, the company took an

important new initiative. In October, it launched

its Belgian plan ‘Together for less CO2’ where

it made ten commitments to reduce its own

emissions of greenhouse gases and to help

customers to reduce their energy consumption

and ecological footprint. The plan –which runs

over the period 2008-2015– is supported by

balanced choices, with a focus on guaranteeing

supply at an economically acceptable price and

with respect for the environment, in particular

climate change.

Renewable energy-based generating capacity of Electrabel in Belgium

in MW - *under construction included

Mid-2009* 2008 2007

Hydroelectric 22 22 22

Wind 115 101 67

Biomass 285 340 314

Photovoltaic 3 1 0

Total 425 464 403

26 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | CHALLENGING 27CHALLENGING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 16: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Generating capacity of Electrabel in Belgium

in MW - renewable energy - *under construction included

(for more details on the plants, see page 48: composition of generating facilities)

Electrabel is active in all areas of renewable energy

and is supported by the wealth of experience

present within the GDF SUEZ Group that globally

has more than 12 500 MW of renewable energy-

based capacity.

Since 1930, the company has been producing

electricity from hydroelectric power plants.

Because the hydroelectric energy potential in

Belgium is almost entirely utilized, it strives for an

optimal exploitation of its existing plants.

In case of wind energy, it has developed both

onshore projects –such as along the E40, in

conjunction with the railway infrastructure

company Infrabel and the cities of Sint-Truiden

and Landen, where Electrabel wants to construct

one of the largest wind farms in Belgium (40 to

60 MW)– as well as offshore projects.

In the area of biomass, Electrabel is one of the

most important and most experienced players in

Europe. It burns 1.5 million tonnes of biomass per

year in its power stations in Belgium. The sustain-

able character of a biomass type is a key factor in

the company’s decision to use it. Electrabel does

not burn any palm oil, for example, because its sus-

tainability is disputed given that palm plantations

destroy the primary forests in the countries where

it is produced. In order to guarantee the sustain-

ability of biomass, the company has established

a certifi cation procedure together with its scien-

tifi c and technical competence centre Laborelec.

In 2008, Electrabel also commissioned a new

laboratory at Laborelec to optimize the incinera-

tion of biomass and test new biomass types. In

2005, Electrabel claimed a world-fi rst by convert-

ing the Awirs coal power station to run entirely on

biomass (80 MW). The company also started a

project to transform an existing unit at Rodenhuize

power station into a 100% biomass plant with a

capacity of 180 MW.

Electrabel is present throughout the entire

photovoltaic chain, amongst other things, via

its shares in the companies Photovoltech and

Soltech. The company has established a project

to install 11 MW photovoltaic panels with its

industrial customers. The fi rst instances of this,

for example the Honda Belgium Factory in Aalst,

have been part of its production park since 2008.

In order to speed up the installation of PV panels,

Electrabel developed the Joint Venture Green

Solar Project in which customers may participate.

Photovoltaic Biomass Hydroelectric Wind














Ford Genk*













Generating facilities of Electrabel in Belgium

renewable energy – mid-2009

Hydroelectric Photovoltaic Biomass (co-)combustion Wind (*under construction)

Offshore wind energy

Electrabel was the fi rst company that

proposed actual plans for building a wind

farm for the Belgian coast in the North

Sea. In 2002, it received, together with

the company Jan De Nul, a permit for

the construction of the Seanergy wind

farm (100 MW). In 2005, this permit was

revoked by the minister responsible for

the marine environment, because of the

incompatibility of the project with a new

‘Sustainable Control Plan of the North Sea’

that determines zones for the positioning

of wind farms. An appeal against this

decision is currently under way.

In 2008, the same partners submitted two

requests to the CREG for concessions to

build the wind turbine farms Blue4Power I

and Blue4Power II. With the fi rst farm,

Electrabel wants to construct the largest

offshore wind turbine farm in Belgium.

If the concessions are granted and the

project is deemed to be economically and

technically viable, the fi rst wind turbines

could be commissioned in 2012.

28 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | CHALLENGING 29CHALLENGING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 17: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Limiting the quantity of polluting substances that

its power stations emit into the atmosphere is

an ongoing priority for Electrabel. The company

has consistently been successful in Belgium sin-

ce 1990 in reducing the emissions of SO2, NOx

and dust per produced kilowatt-hour every year.

This is the result of the investment in new high-

yield power stations and the modernization of

old power stations, the use of environmentally-

friendly fuels and renewable energy sources,

research into environmentally-friendly techni-

ques and the optimal industrial control of the

production units, as well as installing emission-

reducing equipment (low NOx-burners, deSOx

and deNOx, electrostatic precipitators). In 2008,

the commissioning of the new installations to re-

move sulphur and nitrogen from fl ue gases in the

Ruien coal power station, was largely responsi-

ble for the reduction of specifi c SO2- and NOx-

emissions of the generating facilities by 40 to

60% compared to 2007. In 2008, the emissions

from Electrabel’s generating facilities in Belgium

amounted to 209 g CO2/kWh, 109 mg SO2/kWh,

151 mg NOx/kWh and 6 mg dust/kWh. A list de-

tailing environmental indicators relating to the

production park may be found on page 51.

Due to the continuous modernization of the pro-

duction park, Electrabel’s power stations use

less and less energy to produce electricity. The

units fed by fossil fuels already had an average

yield of 42.2% in 2008, which means an increase

of 19% since 1990. This saves on fossil fuels and

ensures a drop in the environmental impact.

The company is shutting down power stations

that no longer comply with effi ciency and en-

vironmental criteria, including, in 2008 a coal

group in the Mol power station. Electrabel is also

modernizing existing power stations, such as the

Amercoeur power plant where it converted an old

coal group into a natural gas fi red CCGT-power

station of 420 MW with a yield of 57%. Electrabel

is also investing in new production units, such as

the 305 MW-power station Knippegroen on the

ArcelorMittal (Sidmar) site in Ghent that will in-

cinerate the blast furnace gases of the steel mill,

and cogeneration units at Lanxess (58 MW) and

Evonik Degussa (21 MW) in the Port of Antwerp.

Use continuously less fuel

Reducing global environmental impact

Emissions per kWh generated by Electrabel’s

generating facilities in Belgium

1990 = 100

With the best in Europe

The Electrabel generating facilities in Belgium emitted on average 209 grams of CO2 per

produced kilowatt-hour of electricity in 2008. As a result, in this fi eld, the company is one of

the best performing energy companies in Europe.

1.7 million tonnes less CO2

By investing in renewable energies and in the improved effi ciency of its conventional

power stations, Electrabel wants to reduce its generating facilities’ emissions in the period

2008-2014 by 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 (in comparison with the quantity that the generating

facilities of 2007 would have emitted in this period with a constant rate of electricity

production). In 2008, the company was successful in avoiding the emission of 450 000

tonnes of CO2 by closing down a part of the coal incineration in the Mol power station and

the doubling of the wood pellets incineration in the Rodenhuize power station.

CO2 emissions

in grams of CO2/kWh - year 2007(Electrabel, year 2008) - source: PwC

Effi ciency of Electrabel’s fossil-fuelled

power stations in Belgium in %












90 95 00 05 06 07 08




30 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | CHALLENGING 31CHALLENGING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 18: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

The company also takes measures to limit its

environmental impact on water, soil, noise,

waste and biodiversity. For example, the power

stations use environmentally-friendly water

treatment techniques (such as membranous

fi ltration to produce demineralized water) and

the full quantity of produced fl y ash, bottom ash

and fl ue gas desulphurization gypsum is re-used

(400 kilotonnes in 2008).

In 2009, Electrabel started to cooperate

with conservation organizations to assess

the biodiversity of its sites and to implement

appropriate management. The company is also

open to utilizing possibilities that it can offer to

protect biodiversity. The most striking example

is the reintroduction of the Peregrine falcon in

Belgium, where it has been extinct for many

decades. The Preservation Fund for Birds of

Prey (FIR) has placed nesting boxes on chimneys

and cooling towers of the power plants for this

purpose. This has been successful: since the

start of the project, in 1995, Electrabel’s power

plants in Belgium have counted more than 300

Peregrine chicks.

89% of the generating capacity operated by

Electrabel in Belgium is certifi ed as conforming

to the environmental management system stan-

dard ISO 14001. The Doel and Tihange nuclear

power plants are also registered in the European

Environmental Management and Audit Scheme

(EMAS). These systems contribute to the ma-

nagement of environmental impact. They are

aimed at continuous improvement and stimulate

the company to ever-higher environmental goals.

In Luxembourg, the Esch-sur-Alzette CCGT-plant

achieved a triple certifi cate in 2008: ISO 14001,

combined with the ISO 9001 (quality) and OHSAS

18001 (safety) certifi cates.

Room for nuclear energy in a sustainable

energy mix

In Belgium, Electrabel operates seven nucle-

ar reactors, four at the Doel nuclear plant and

three at the Tihange nuclear plant. The opera-

tional performance of this nuclear park is at a

high level, with an average availability of almost

90% over the last fi ve years. Nuclear power

plants supply 37.9% of the company’s gener-

ating capacity and 59.2% of its production in

Belgium and form one of the basic components

of its diversifi ed energy mix. Nuclear energy of-

fers several advantages (production of large

quantities of electricity without CO2 emissions;

saving on fossil fuels; stable uranium supply …)

and makes an important contribution towards

meeting energy and environmental challenges.

Irrespective of the Belgian government’s future

decisions concerning the life expectancy of the

nuclear power plants, Electrabel continues to

operate them with safety as its highest prior-

ity. Within the GDF SUEZ Group, the company

continues to improve its nuclear expertise and

experience, as well as providing training for its

employees and supporting the Group’s nuclear

development program.

The operation of nuclear power plants causes

the production of radioactive waste and dis-

charges into the environment. In 2008,

the quantity of low- and medium-level ra-

dioactive waste produced by the Doel and

Tihange nuclear power plants amounted to

6.4 m3/TWh (which corresponds to a volume

of two AA torch batteries per household per

year). This drop of 55% compared to 1990 is

the result of the efforts of the plants at tech-

nical and organizational level. The radioactive

waste is treated and conditioned in the plant

and then transferred to the Belgian Agency

for Management of Radioactive Waste and

Enriched Fissile Materials (ONDRAF/NIRAS)

which is responsible for its management. The

liquid and gaseous discharges by the nuclear

power plants remain considerably below the

authorized annual limits (see page 51). The

EMAS environmental statements, published

by the Doel and Tihange nuclear power plants

every year, give a detailed summary of the

environmental achievements of the nuclear

power plants.

Environmental policy agreement in Flanders

In 2004, the electricity generating companies

and the Flemish Region signed an agreement

regarding the reduction of emissions of SO2 and

NOx from the power stations over the period

2005-2013. A fi rst phase expires at the end of

2009; the parties involved are negotiating an ex-

tension of the agreement.

The purpose of the agreement is to signifi cant-

ly reduce the annually emitted quantities in

Flanders. This implies, for example, that in 2013

the emissions of SO2 should be reduced by 94%

and those of NOx should drop by 77% compared

to the reference year 1990. The offi cial reports

for the 2005-2007 period indicate that the pro-

ducers complied with their commitment.

Environmental policy agreement Flanders

SO2 emissions by power stationsin tonnes – period 2005-2013

Emissions Objective

NOx emissions by power stationsin tonnes – period 2005-2013

Emissions Objective

30 000

25 000

20 000

15 000

10 000

5 000


30 000

25 000

20 000

15 000

10 000

5 000

005 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13

32 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | CHALLENGING 33CHALLENGING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 19: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Electrabel offers its customers a modular range of services that consists of energy savings,

low-carbon energy auto-production and green power use. Additionally, the company helps

industrial customers, interested in CO2 emission credits, to compensate for their emissions.


Saving up to 30% on energy consumption and own CO2-free production

Electrabel assists its customers in limiting their

energy consumption and emissions, as well as

to reduce their carbon footprint. The company

offers residential and business customers a

range of energy services by means of which they

can continuously follow-up and manage their

energy consumption. It offers these services,

which it constantly expands and optimizes, on

www.electrabel.be, where they can, to a certain

extent, also be used online.

Customers who want to generate their own

electricity and heat using a low-CO2 method, can

approach the company for information, advice and

support. On the website, residential customers

will, for instance, fi nd calculation modules and

information on subsidies with which they can

calculate the profi tability of an investment in

renewable energy, in particular photovoltaic


Together with its industrial customers, Electrabel

realizes customized projects (cogeneration, wind

turbines, photovoltaic installations …). With Volvo

Europa Truck in Ghent, the company came up with

the fi rst factory in the world that assembles trucks

with zero CO2 emissions due to a combination

of energy savings, energy production with wind



Follow consumption online month-by-month, indicate the required savings and compare consumption with that of a comparable household and home.

Home Optimizer Discover online which habits and equipment use energy excessively and, consequently, do not permit savings; identify the most important measures that will make a difference.

Check-up call An energy expert discusses by phone the trend and the optimization of the energy consumption.

Energy Audit An expert drops by to analyse the energy consumption of the house and to offer customized solutions.

CO2 tool Calculate the annual CO2 emission of the family online and get tips for improvement.

PV Guide Receive support in making the correct choices when placing photovoltaic panels to ensure an optimal investment.

PV Comfort Ensures regular maintenance of photovoltaic installations, resulting in better yield and longer life expectancy.

Energy scan A complete energy audit that analyses all energy fl ows in an organization and provides an accurate description of the savings that can be made.

Spot advice Makes a diagnosis on site on an issue at an energy installation and gives advice on the best solutions.

Start to Save Offers a personalizable module-based concept for internal communication to make staff aware of the rational use of energy.

Energy Kronos Follow and manage energy consumption (electricity and natural gas) online and determine the effect of energy saving measures.

turbines, biomass and photovoltaic panels, and the

use of green energy. At ArcelorMittal (Sidmar), it

constructed a power plant that will burn the steel

company’s blast furnace gas. The excess hydrogen

gas (H2) produced by Monsanto, is incinerated in

a cogeneration power unit, allowing the chemical

company to produce part of its electricity without

CO2 emissions.

Examples of the energy and environmental services offered by Electrabel





Green electricity Compensation

Helping customers to increase the energy effi ciency of their buildings/applications/processes

Advising customers on adopting energy saving behaviour

Helping customers to select, buy and install renewable or low-carbon fossil-fuelled electricity generating or heating devices

Offering green electricity products mainly generated by our renewable energy plants and certifi ed installations, such as:

• GreenPlus for resi-dential customers

• Professional Green for the self-em-ployed and Partner Green for SMEs

• AlpEnergie for industrial customers

Offering high-quality products to industrial customers interested in carbon credits

34 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | CHALLENGING 35CHALLENGING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 20: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

250 000 customers opt for green energy Electrabel has a specifi c green energy offer for

every type of customer category. The GreenPlus,

Professional Green and Partner Green products

–launched in October 2008 for households,

entrepreneurs and small and medium sized

companies– comprise the supply of 100%

renewable energy, 100% produced in Belgium.

The independent organization Vinçotte validates

the origin and source of the green electricity each

year. By mid-2009, more than 220 000 families,

as well as 30 000 self-employees and SME’s, had

entered into a green contract with Electrabel.

The company offers its industrial customers

and public administrations AlpEnergie, green

current originating from the hydroelectric power

plants of the GDF SUEZ Group in France, of

which the origin is certifi ed by the Technischer

Überwachungs-Verein (TUV). In 2008, Electrabel

sold 2.74 TWh electricity under the AlpEnergie

label in Belgium. About 600 companies, cities

and municipalities including Danone, Delhaize,

Telenet, the National Lottery, Antwerp Zoo,

Bruges and Visé chose AlpEnergie.

With the renewable energy source-

installations they operate, Electrabel and the

GDF SUEZ Group (410 MW in Belgium and

almost 6 000 MW in Europe overall), the company

is able to offer its customers large quantities of

green current at a competitive price. In 2008,

190 Flemish municipalities opted for Electrabel

as their electricity supplier, following a public

tendering procedure for their electricity supplies

that had to comprise 60% green energy.

Electrabel and green mobilityRoad transport in Belgium is responsible

for approximately a fi fth of the country’s

emissions of greenhouse gases. By switching

over from conventional fuels (petrol, diesel) to

electricity and natural gas, the transport sector

can reduce its carbon footprint. Electrabel

encourages the use and the development of

vehicles using natural gas or electricity. The

company has a low CO2-emission production

park which is an important plus-point with

regard to the supply of electric vehicles.

In 2008, Electrabel opened three natural

gas fi lling stations for the public in Bruges,

Mechelen and Antwerp. Within its own fl eet,

it tests the performance and characteristics of

electric vehicles. The company therefore also

cooperates with the Natuurpunt environmental

organization to whom it provided an electric

vehicle that emits scarcely 34 grams of CO2

per driven kilometre, including the required

electricity production. Electrabel also enters

into partnerships with vehicle manufacturers

for the development of more environmentally-

friendly vehicles and supports research

into the optimization of the management of

electric vehicle fl eets.

In 2008, the company also implemented

a new mobility policy for its employees.

This promotes and encourages limitations

on mobility, the use of public transport and

choosing environmentally-friendly transport

with little or no CO2 emissions. In 2008,

the new vehicles leased for use by its staff

discharged an average of 139 grams of

CO2/km into the air, a fall of 14% compared to

emissions in 2007.


The GDF SUEZ Group has extensive experience

in the area of Research and Development.

1 200 employees are active in 8 research

centres. In Belgium, Laborelec, Electrabel’s

technical and scientifi c competence centre,

counts 249 employees. Apart from its own

research activities, Electrabel also participates

in other GDF SUEZ Group research projects

and forms partnerships to study promising

technologies and to expand and enhance the

extent of its R&D activities. The company also

will set up a Scientifi c Advisory Committee for

this purpose which will consist of members of

both the Belgian and international academic


The research areas are diverse and seek

to improve the energy and environmental

achievements of the generating facilities, fi nd

innovative, sustainable, futuristic applications

and solutions, as well as focus on the rational

use of energy:

• combustion potential of new sustainable

biomass types

• the potential of Concentrated Solar Power

(CSP) technology for energy production

• more effi cient fourth generation nuclear

power plants

• the capture and storage of CO2 from fl ue

gas (Carbon Capture and Storage)

• coal power plants with a yield exceeding 50%

• energy audits

• performance of micro-networks fed by wind

turbines and solar panels

• …

Thanks to its research activities, Electrabel can

offer complex, global and integrated solutions

concerning energy problems and the climate issue.

The company’s expertise in the area of energy-

effi ciency, renewable energies, environmental

impact and electricity networks has, for example,

made it possible to construct the Princess

Elisabeth research station in Antarctica and to

ensure that it can operate completely autono-

mously, without any CO2 emissions or waste, at

extreme temperatures of -40°C.

36 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | CHALLENGING 37

Page 21: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Our concern for people and their environment goes further. With the recent

RECRUITMENT OF 1 600 NEW EMPLOYEES and the skills of our existing staff –more than 600 000 training hours in 2008– we are also armed to satisfy our customers tomorrow


38 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | INSPIRING 39INSPIRING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 22: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Due to the nature of its activities, Electrabel

is embedded within the economic and social

fabric of society.

Electrabel is an active supplier of energy and

energy services that keeps in close contact with

its customers (families, public administrations,

small- and medium-sized businesses, large

industrial companies), suppliers and social groups

(legislative authorities and governments, the

scientifi c and academic world, opinion makers,

professional organizations, trades unions,

associations …). The company’s numerous

electricity power plants characterize the landscape

and evoke a trusted image for those living in the

neighbourhood. Electrabel and the GDF SUEZ

Group are also important local and regional

employers. Implementing and anticipating the

expectations of its stakeholders are essential

factors for the company’s further development.

SOCIAL involvement

Active player on the job market

At the end of 2008, Electrabel (including its

Belgian subsidiaries) employed 7 548 persons

in Belgium. The company also provides

signifi cant indirect employment. 29% of the

staff are in a management role, 32% female

and almost 30% under 30 years of age. The

company has an active recruitment policy to

replace the large number of employees who

will leave the company at their pensionable

age in the coming years, to man new

electricity power plants and to support the

nuclear and other activities of the GDF SUEZ

Group. In 2008, Electrabel recruited almost

1 650 new employees in Belgium. Additional

recruitment of 500 to 800 is anticipated for the

period 2009-2010. To fi nd and locate suitable

candidates, Electrabel makes a deliberate

effort to directly approach the competitive job

market, amongst other things, by organizing

specifi c job days, job events and open-door

days. Job hunters can search for vacancies

on the company’s website and apply online


The GDF SUEZ Group has also signed an

agreement with the ministries of education

(both Dutch- and French-speaking) to support

the education of students and teachers by

means of practical training in the company and

to promote technical professions among young


Staff numbers of Electrabel in Belgium

in active service - Belgian subsidiaries included

The signifi cant drop in staff numbers in 2008 is a consequence of the transfer of more than 1 800 employees to the new network company, ORES.

Age structure of Electrabel’s staff in Belgium

in active service end of 2008 - Belgian subsidiaries included

Opportunities for employeesThe company offers its employees extensive

options to follow customized training and

to take up new functions to orientate and

build their careers. In 2008, more than

600 000 hours of technical and general trai-

ning were followed in Belgium and 45% of

the 1 500 outstanding vacancies were fi lled

via internal candidates. Internal mobility is

not only restricted to Belgium, but is spread

across the entire GDF SUEZ Group. Staff are

encouraged to participate in the improvement

of the working conditions. In 2006, Electrabel

launched the ‘Wellbeing at Work’ project,

which led to several practical changes being

suggested by the employees themselves,

which were systematically implemented

(participation in Taxistop, offering professional

home assistance for the care of sick children,

childcare in crèches …). The company aims at

upgrading the project on a regular basis in line

with its employees’ needs.

Women Men









0 300 600 900 1 200 1 500

40 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | INSPIRING 41INSPIRING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 23: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Support integration on the job marketElectrabel helps groups of people who fi nd it

diffi cult to integrate into the job market. This

initiative complies with the ‘Corporate Social

Responsibility’ policy as promoted by the


The company, in consultation with the regional

labour services, employs persons with modest

qualifi cations, disabled persons, as well as

people who have temporarily left the job

market. It offers them a temporary employment

contract accompanied by a specifi c supervision

route with coaching and training. At the end of

their contract period, some employees remain

with Electrabel; others have a stronger foot to

stand on in the job market.

At the beginning of 2009, GDF SUEZ also

entered into a partnership with the Belgian

Paralympic Committee to offer disabled

athletes the opportunity to be employed within

Electrabel and other businesses of the Group

in Belgium.

Safety, always a priorityElectrabel’s workplace Health & Safety

Policy is based on the principle of continuous

improvement. This is achieved and takes

concrete shape thanks to the implementation of

a Global Prevention Plan. As far back as 1995, the

company was already elaborating its fi rst Global

Plan, thus anticipating its legal obligations at the

time. Since then, three consecutive fi ve-year

plans have enabled the company to structure

its approach to Health, Safety and Wellbeing in

the workplace, as well as to durably improve its

results in terms of safety indicators. In 2008,

in Belgium, Electrabel recorded its all-time

best results in terms of frequency and severity

rates, 2.70 and 0.05 respectively, marking an

improvement of over 80% in ten years. The

2010-2015 Global Plan, elaborated in 2008-

2009, should allow the company to consolidate

its achievements, as well as to succeed in the

challenge of managing the human element and

human behaviour.

Safety indicators Electrabel (Belgium)

subsidiaries not included

Electrabel strives towards having sustainable

and fruitful relationships with its stakeholders,

based on mutual respect and objectivity, and

wishes to keep them informed and to involve

them in its activities. In the ambit of its CO2

action plan, the company is in the process

of establishing a Sustainable Development

Advisory Board consisting of representatives

of economic, social and environmental groups

to refl ect the interests of Belgian society.

Electrabel also enters into discussions with

neighbourhood groups (discussion board in

the Doel power plant, comité de riverains of

the Tihange power plant …), organizes open

days and information sessions (for example,

in relation to projects for new wind farms) and

distributes specifi c brochures to keep those

in the immediate vicinity of power plants

informed of the most important developments

and activities.

Anyone who would like to know more about

the company and how it produces electricity

can visit some of Electrabel’s power plants.

Every year, around 20 000 persons make use

of this opportunity.

Improvingrelationshipswith stakeholders

Nuclear safety

Operating safety at its Doel and Tihange

nuclear power stations is a constant

concern for Electrabel. The company has

included this priority in its procedures, and

it sets in motion actions and projects that

focus on safety. Its own employees, as

well as employees of external companies

are continuously educated and trained

(in 2008, the number of training hours

totalled 50 000, a lot of them using

simulators). Internal and external controls

are conducted on a regular basis to make

sure the efforts attain the desired results.

In early 2009, an OSART audit from the

International Atomic Energy Agency

(IAEA), executed at the request of the

Belgian government, confi rmed the high

safety level of the Tihange nuclear power

plant. This inspection compares the safety

of the investigated power plant with the

best global practices. Turning to the Doel

nuclear power station, nuclear experts

visiting the station as part of a WANO Peer

Review examined the practices in place

and their report also was very positive.

International comparisons also show that

Belgian nuclear power plants are situated

among the best in terms of collective

radiation dose.

25 20 15 10 5 00.0







Sr: severity rate (number of days of absence per thousand hours worked)

Fr: frequency rate (number of loss time accidents per million hours worked)

42 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | INSPIRING 43INSPIRING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 24: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Partnerships in solidarity and environmental protection

Electrabel is an ambassador for the measures

that it proposes to its customers. In 2010, the

company will have reduced the CO2 emissions

of its daily activities by 21% or 9 000 tonnes

compared to 2007 by implementing measures

in the area of energy consumption in buildings,

its purchasing procedures and mobility. In 2008,

the savings realized amounted to 2 000 tonnes.

Current actions undertaken by the company

include, amongst other things, lowering the

basic temperature for starting up the central

heating systems of its buildings, the installation

of photovoltaic panels on the roofs of its buildings

(for example, the head offi ce in Brussels

(5.4 kW) and the Marketing & Sales building

in Namur (8.8 kW)) and using AlpEnergie green


Electrabel’s mobility program is aimed at mini-

mizing the amount of travelling and opting for

environmentally-friendly transport. The ‘green

purchases’ plan stipulates environmental and

sustainability criteria for the selection of sup-

pliers, the specifi cation of products and services

and the execution of contracts. Suppliers can

refer to purchasing terms and conditions on the

website www.electrabel.be/suppliers.

The company also encourages its employees

to implement a natural rational use of energy

approach not only professionally but also in

private, amongst other things, by awarding

RUE-trophies which reward the most energy-

saving families.

Exemplary function

In line with the GDF SUEZ Group’s sponsorship

and partnership policy, Electrabel supports

long-term activities for the social rehabilitation

of those who are less fortunate and for the

protection of nature and the environment. The

company does not only seek to be a passive

donor, but also provides logistical support and

makes available its know-how.

Organizations recently supported by Electrabel

include the following:

• the Preservation Fund for Birds of Prey (FIR)

for the reintroduction of the Peregrine falcon

in Belgium;

• the nature organizations, Natuurpunt and

Natagora, for a biodiversity awareness


• the Virelles-Nature association to develop

the Aquascope-Virelles nature discovery

centre on the bank of the Virelles lake;

• the International Polar Foundation (IPF)

for the building of the Princess Elisabeth

zero-emissions scientifi c research centre in


• the association École et Surdité to promote

the integration of education for students with

hearing disabilities within general education;

• the Mimi Foundation for the supervision and

reintegration of cancer patients in society;

• the Cap48 organization to improve aware-

ness of the diffi culties that handicapped

persons experience with reintegration into


• the Belgian Paralympic Committee (BPC)

to train athletes who participate in the


Electrabel staff are also active within Energy

Assistance. This non-profi t organization was

established in June 2001, by GDF SUEZ Group

employees. Its members volunteer to help

with humanitarian projects in the energy fi eld

throughout the world.

The fi rst step is making their expertise available

to communities in the Third World to facilitate

their access to essential energy commodities.

This often goes hand in hand with the

reconstruction of a hospital or an orphanage, as

well as the installation of water wells.

44 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | INSPIRING 45INSPIRING | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 25: Electrabel Activities Report 2008


47APPENDICES | Electrabel Activities report 200846 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | APPENDICES

Page 26: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

Combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) 1 888

Amercoeur 420 ng

Drogenbos 460 ng

Herdersbrug 460 ng

Saint-Ghislain 350 ng

Zandvliet Power (1) 198 ng

Combined heat and power (CHP) 765

BP Chembel (Geel)(2) 43 ng

Degussa (Antwerp)(2) 43 ng

Fluxys (Zeebruges)(2) 40 ng

Ineos Phenol (Beveren)(2) 23 ng

Langerbrugge 59 ng

Lanxess (Lillo)(2) 43 ng

Lanxess Rubber(2) 58 ng

Monsanto (Antwerp)(2) 43 ng

Oudegem Papier(2) 15 ng

SAPPI (Lanaken)(2) 43 ng

Solvay (Jemeppe-sur-Sambre)(2) 94 ng

Syral (Alost)(2) 48 ng

Total Raffi naderij Antwerpen(2) 154 ng

Gas engines 60 ng, bm

Conventional thermal 2 683

Amercoeur 127 c

Awirs 374 ng, bm

Kallo 522 ng

Mol 255 c

Rodenhuize 526 bfg, c, bm

Ruien(3) 879 ng, c, bm

Gas turbine 108

Drogenbos 78 ng

Mol 30 ng

Turbojet 210

Aalter 18 ke

Beerse 32 ke

Buda 18 ke

Cierreux 17 ke

Deux-Acren 18 ke

Ixelles 18 ke

Noordschote 18 ke

Turon 17 ke

Zedelgem 18 ke

Zeebrugge 18 ke

Zelzate 18 ke

Energy recovery 77

Brussels Energy 45

Indaver (Beveren) 20

Isvag (Wilrijk) 11

Dump 1.8

Nuclear power station 4 368

Doel 2 634

Doel 1 393

Doel 2 433

(1) without share of RWE (50%); functions as a CHP-unit

(2) industrial partnership(3) including gas turbines repowering(4) without share of SPE (10.2%)(5) without share of EDF (50%)(6) agreement with the MET(7) joint venture with Air Energy Fuels bfg gas from blast furnacesbm biomassc coalke kerosene ng natural gas

Power stationNet generating capacity in MW

Main fuels


Doel 3(4) 903

Doel 4(4) 905

Tihange 2 334

Tihange 1(5) 481

Tihange 2(4) 905

Tihange 3(4) 947

Drawing right SPE -100

Drawing right EO.N -500

Pumped storage power station 1 307

Coo I 474

Coo II 690

Plate Taille(6) 143

Hydroelectric power station 21.8

Bardonwez 0.035

Bévercé 9.2

Bütgenbach 1.8

Cierreux 0.1

Coo-diversion 0.4

Heid-de-Goreux 8.1

La Vierre 1.9

Lorcé 0.1

Orval 0.05

Stavelot 0.1

Wind farm 100.7

BASF (Antwerp) 12

Büllingen 12

Bütgenbach 8

Dour 6

Gembloux-Sombreffe(7) 9

Hoogstraten 12

Izegem 4

Kasterlee 0.66

Lanaken 8

Pathoekeweg 3

Perwez(7) 7.5

Rodenhuize 4

Schelle 4.5

Volvo (Ghent) 6

Wondelgem 4

Photovoltaic panels 3.15

Beaulieu (Kruishoutem) 1.06

Honda (Alost) 0.89

Other industrial partners 1.20

TOTAL 11 532

a) Electrabel’s generating facilities in Belgium: composition mid-2009

Power stationNet generating capacity in MW

Main fuels

Power stationNet generating capacity in MW

Main fuels Power stationNet generating capacity in MW

Main fuels

48 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | APPENDICES 49APPENDICES | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 27: Electrabel Activities Report 2008

New generating capacity:

• CCGT-power plant :

Amercoeur (420 MW)

• Combined heat and power:

Lanxess Rubber (58 MW)

• Nuclear power plant:

Tihange (+40 MW)

• Wind energy:

BASF (12 MW)

Büllingen (12 MW)

Dour (6 MW)

Izegem (4 MW)

• Photovoltaic panels:

3.1 MW

New generating capacity under construction:

• Conventional power plant :

ArcelorMittal (Sidmar) (305 MW)

• Combined heat and power :

Evonik Degussa (21 MW)

• Wind energy:

Dour extension (4 MW)

Ford Genk (4 MW)

Quévy (6 MW)

• Photovoltaic panels:

0.1 MW

Reduced capacity:

• CCGT-power plant :

Vilvoorde (385 MW) (sold to E.ON)

• Combined heat and power :

Esso (38.8 MW) (end of partnership)

Bressoux (2.7 MW) (taken out of service)

• Conventional power plant :

Langerlo (602 MW) (sold to E.ON)

• Turbojet:

Schaerbeek (18 MW) (taken out of service)

• Nuclear power plant (see page 17):

250 MW (ceded to SPE)

100 MW (drawing right SPE)

500 MW (drawing right E.ON)

b) Electrabel’s generating facilities in Belgium:most important changes in the period 2008 – mid-2009

c) Electrabel’s generating facilities in Belgium: environmental indicators (1)

2008 2007 2005 2000 1990 1980


CO2 kilotonnes 13 772 16 089 19 257 21 222 22 607 31 604

CO2 g/kWh 209 227 273 276 349 666

SO2 tonnes 7 163 17 788 28 536 34 505 94 381 351 643

SO2 mg/kWh 109 251 405 448 1 459 7 405

NOx tonnes 9 973 17 324 24 942 39 169 59 183 87 010

NOx mg/kWh 151 245 354 509 915 1 832

Dust tonnes 426 834 2 353 3 886 10 131 23 730

Dust mg/kWh 6 12 33 51 157 500

Production and valorization of by-products

Fly ash kilotonnes 278 302 365 542 931 1 048

Bottom ash kilotonnes 50 49 57 83 - -

Gypsum (2) kilotonnes 72 60 46 43 - -

Total valorization % 98.8 99.4 101.7 88.9 - -

Production and valorization of waste

Industrial waste (3) tonnes 35 834 77 799 33 745 11 685 - -

Valorization % 31.6 - - - - -

Radioactive waste (4) m3 282 272 181 - - -

Water consumption

Cooling * million m3 105.7 114.1 114.9 - - -

Industrial processes million m3 3.58 3.55 3.51 - - -

Industrial processes m3/MWh 0.054 0.051 0.051 - - -

Energy consumption

Energy yield (5) % 42.2 41.9 40.9 40.9 35.5 36.4

Radioactive discharges (6)

Beta-gamma GBq 27 24 26.25 - - -

Tritium TBq 77 111 84.68 - - -

Aerosols GBq 0.012 0.0144 0.04 - - -

Iodine GBq 0.0874 0.163 0.07 - - -

Noble gases TBq 29 34 14.08 - - -

* Quantity evaporated

(1) The data on the combined heat and power units operated in partnership, in cases where Electrabel is not the owner of the operating license, are not included in the statistics.

In order to give an accurate picture of the performance, the calculation of specifi c emissions is related to all generating facilities, including electricity generation by hydroelectric, wind and nuclear power units, as these do not produce any of the emissions concerned.

In 2008, the specifi c emissions from fossil-fuelled power stations were 658 g CO2/kWh, 342 mg SO2/kWh and 476 mg NOx/kWh.(2) The Langerlo and Ruien power stations are equipped with fl ue gas desulphurization units, which produce gypsum as a by-product. (3) The amount of industrial waste produced in any one year depends to a large extent on demolition work and site clean-up operations. (4) The fi gure represents the production of low and medium level conditioned radioactive waste by the Doel and Tihange nuclear power stations. Volumes depend on the

waste conditioning planning. (5) The fi gure represents the percentage of used fossil fuel energy transformed into electricity by CCGT power stations, combined heat and power units and conventional

thermal power stations.(6) Aggregated fi gures for Doel nuclear power station (Flanders) and Tihange nuclear power station (Wallonia). Annual limits for Doel: 1 480 GBq beta-gamma; 103.6 TBq

tritium; 148 GBq aerosols; 14.8 GBq iodine and 2 960 TBq noble gases. Annual limits for Tihange: 888 GBq beta-gamma; 147.6 TBq tritium; 111 GBq aerosols; 14.8 GBq iodine and 2 220 TBq noble gases.

50 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | APPENDICES 51APPENDICES | Electrabel Activities report 2008

Page 28: Electrabel Activities Report 2008




16-26, rue du Docteur Lancereaux

75008 Paris, France


Tel. + 33 1 57 04 00 00


• Reference document 2008

• Activities and Sustainable

Development Report 2008

in Dutch, French, English or Spanish

available in PDF-form on


Electrabel in the Benelux



Boulevard du Régent 8

1000 Brussels, Belgium


Tel. + 32 2 518 61 11

The Netherlands

Electrabel Nederland

Dr. Stolteweg 92

8025 AZ Zwolle, the Netherlands


[email protected]

Tel. + 31 88 769 29 00



201, route d’Ehlerange

4108 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg


[email protected]

Tel. + 35 2 26 55 49 1

Sustainable development

Visit www.electrabel.be/sustainable

• Learn everything about the details

of Electrabel’s CO2 plan

• Order or download the Green Book

‘Together for less CO2’

• Subscribe to the newsletter

Environmental declarations EMAS

Nuclear power station Doel

• in Dutch

• in PDF format at


• requests for printed copies:

[email protected]

Nuclear power station Tihange

• in French

• in PDF format at


• requests for printed copies:

[email protected]

Electrabel S.A.

Boulevard du Régent 8

1000 Brussels, Belgium


Tel. + 32 2 518 61 11

Fax + 32 2 518 64 00

TVA BE 0403.170.701 RPR/RPM Brussels

This report is available in Dutch, French and English.

download via www.electrabel.be

request a printed copy:

[email protected]

• www.electrabel.be

• Electrabel

Boulevard du Régent 8

1000 Brussels, Belgium

Tel. + 32 2 518 62 22

Fax + 32 2 518 64 00

Colophon This publication was produced by the Communications


The graphic concept and the production were

assigned to The Crew, Brussels (Belgium).

Photographs: R. de Barse, R. Beckers, J. Breuer, D. Decorte,

IPF, D. Mossiat, O2, A. Pierot, D. Plas, A. Vanlaethem

Printing: Antilope, Lier (Belgium)

Responsible editor: Fernand Grifnée,

Boulevard du Régent 8, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

September 2009


This publication was printed entirely on paper certifi ed by the Forest Steward Council (FSC). This organization promotes and guarantees responsible forest management that aims to be economically attractive, environmentally sustainable and socially equitable.The paper supplier has obtained ISO 14001 (environment) and OHSAS 18001 (health and safety) certifi cates.The presses use vegetable ink. Waste paper and cardboard, in addition to used offset plates, are recovered and recycled.

52 Electrabel Activities report 2008 | APPENDICES 53APPENDICES | Electrabel Activities report 2008

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