From 1905 to today
The origin of the story of Electrabel goes back to the beginning of the last century. The company was established on 8 August 1905, called ‘Electriciteitsmaatschappij der Schelde (Société d’Électricité de l’Escaut)’. After many mergers , it became the largest energy company in Belgium. As from 10 July 1990, its name is Electrabel and since July 10, 2007 it is a 100% subsidiary of ENGIE, a global player in the energy sector. ENGIE Electrabel , the new brand name since 2016, is preparing to play a leading role in the energy transition.
On 8 August 1905, a number of smaller electricity companies are combined to form the Electriciteitsmaatschappij der Schelde (Scheldt Electricity Company), Electrabel's predecessor.
The Verenigde Energiebedrijven van het Scheldeland (Ebes) is formed in 1956 as the result of a merger between the Electriciteitsmaatschappij der Schelde and three other companies.
Intercom is formed in 1966 to serve the central part of the country: it too is a merger between various electricity companies, with their roots in the Société Intercommunale Belge d’Electricité set up in 1901.
The years between 1956 and 1976 see the mergers of 49 smaller electricity and gas companies into three large ones: Ebes, Intercom and Unerg.
The pumped-storage power station at Coo comes online, a unique closed circuit hydraulic facility.
The nuclear power stations at Doel and Tihange are commissioned and from 1985 onwards generate over half of Belgium's electricity.
On 10 July 1990, the extraordinary general meetings of Ebes and Intercom approve the regrouping of the companies into a single private company, into which Unerg's business activities will eventually be incorporated. Ebes is renamed Electrabel.
Electrabel's first CCGT (combined-cycle gas turbine) power station is commissioned at Drogenbos. The company becomes a world leader in gas turbine technology.
Following on from the public offer it made, SUEZ acquires all the remaining shares in the Société Générale de Belgique/Generale Maatschappij van België, the principal shareholder in Tractebel, itself the principal shareholder in Electrabel. Société Générale de Belgique/Generale Maatschappij van België merges with Tractebel in 2003 and becomes SUEZ-Tractebel.
The activities of the company, which have been extended with energy trading, have a European dimension. Electrabel has branches in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary and Germany. It concludes agreements with local energy companies.
Electrabel opens its first wind farm in Schelle on 3 April. The farm consists of three 1.5-MW wind turbines.
As the result of a squeeze-out bid it launched for the Electrabel shares still not held by the Group, SUEZ became fully owner of Electrabel. The Electrabel shares were delisted from the Euronext Brussels stock exchange after a period of 17 years.
The Gaz de France and SUEZ general meetings of shareholders approve the plan for a merger between the two groups. The creation of the new GDF SUEZ Group, a worldwide energy and services leader, is accompanied by a new organization which groups and redistributes the activities of the two groups.
Electrabel SA remains a separate legal entity. Its activities carried out under the brand name Electrabel, Group GDF SUEZ, confined to the Benelux region.
With the creation of ORES, single operator responsible for the management and operation of distribution networks for electricity and natural gas in Wallonia, Electrabel does not longer exercise operational distribution activities in Wallonia. In this way, the company follows a same pattern as in 2005 in Flanders with the establishment of Eandis, and in 2006 in Brussels with the establishment of BNO ( Brussels Network Operator).
Electrabel establishes the cooperative company Electrabel CoGreen that allows local residents to invest in local wind farms.
GDF SUEZ changes its name and becomes ENGIE. The Group also decides to reorganize its brand portfolio to achieve greater coherence and more clarity. The brand strategy unfolds from now around a simple concept: ENGIE, One Company, One Brand. In that context, ENGIE will be the unique brand for the majority of the activities of the Group.
Electrabel becomes ENGIE Electrabel. In the context of the energy transition, the company will guide its customers under this new brand.