French natural gas and electric utility Engie will exit roughly 20 countries in the next 36 months and target new markets in developing nations, its CEO said.
Isabelle Kocher told Reuters as Engie focuses its investments on energy services, renewable energy and infrastructure in the next three years, it will sell another 6 billion euros ($6.8 billion) worth of assets.
It has sold 14 billion euros ($15.92 billion) of mainly coal-related assets in the past three years.
At a presentation in London, Kocher said she wants to simplify the company, operating in roughly 70 countries. She said Engie would focus on 20 countries where it is well established, as well as 30 metropolitan areas mainly in Southeast Asia and Africa, where power needs can bring earnings growth.
Chief financial officer Judith Hartmann said after Engie had simplified its business lines in the past three years, it now wants to simplify operations geographically.
She said Engie would exit from some 20 countries with too much political risk, or where it cannot reach sufficient scale to be a significant player, Kallanish Energy understands.
Investment will focus on three areas, she said: developed countries with high environmental sensibility in Western Europe, North America, as well as some Asian countries such as Australia and Singapore, where customers want renewable energy, infrastructure renewal and sophisticated energy solutions.
A second type of desirable country for Engie, such as Brazil or Romania, already have good energy infrastructure, but have room for more power demand growth. Despite lower ecological awareness, these countries also want major renewable energy investment, Hartmann said.
A third focus will be on countries with rapid urban development where not everyone has easy access to energy, such as in Africa, India, China, and parts of Southeast Asia. There, Engie will invest in offgrid power, microgrids and home solar, Reuters reported.
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