March 31, 2017 / 1:03 PM / in 8 months

UPDATE 1-Eneco boosts renewables business with Eni Belgium purchase

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AMSTERDAM, March 31 (Reuters) - Dutch publicly owned utility Eneco said on Friday it would buy the Belgian gas and power retail operations of Italian oil and gas company Eni, the Dutch company’s second regional renewable energy related deal this year.

Eneco did not disclose financial details of the transaction, which it said would allow it to invest more in local wind and solar power. In January, Eneco bought Lichtblick, Germany’s largest independent renewable energy supplier.

Eni Belgium serves around 850,000 electricity and gas connection points and has a market share of around 10 percent in the country with 200 staff, Eni said in a statement.

Eneco, which has been present on a smaller scale in Belgium since 2011, said that after the acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, it would serve more than a million Belgian households and 55,000 business customers.

“We want to grow in supplying renewable energy to customers ... and grow in several north-west European countries among which is Belgium,” said Kees-Jan Rameau, Eneco’s chief growth officer.

Owned by 55 Dutch municipalities, Rotterdam-based Eneco invests in renewables-based electricity generation and district heating. It operates in Britain, France and Germany as well as Belgium and the Netherlands.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; editing by Alexander Smith and David Evans

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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