Press release

RTE international strengthens its partnership with TEP, the electricity transmission network of Polynesia, and takes a share of its capital

RTE international acquires 20% of TEP, the Tahitian network operator, and will share its capital with French Polynesia. By becoming a shareholder, RTE international is strengthening its partnership with TEP and acquiring a major reference in the operation of an island network.

Photos copyright: TEP

The President of French Polynesia, Edouard Fritch, and the CEO of RTE international, Nicolas Bréham, signed on the 1st of April 2022, RTE international’s entry into TEP’s capital. TEP is the grid operator for Tahiti, the biggest island in French Polynesia. It operates an electricity network comprising of 250km of lines and 24 substations for a population of 200,000 inhabitants. The sale contract signed today will allow RTE international to acquire 20% of the company’s capital. RTE international will share the capital with French Polynesia, the majority shareholder whose control will be reduced from 90% to 70%.

RTE international has been providing engineering and technical consultancy services to Pacific power transmission companies for many years and has developed expertise in island networks. By becoming a shareholder in TEP, RTE international hopes to become more involved with this infrastructure manager through a genuine technical partnership. RTE international will contribute the expertise acquired in France as the manager of the largest European transmission network, and in return will benefit from TEP’s know-how on the technical and regulatory issues of autonomous networks.

The energy transition poses many challenges to electricity systems of island areas. Being small and isolated, it is more difficult to integrate large shares of variable renewable energy. With high solar and wind penetration rates, maintaining the supply-demand balance is much more demanding for operators. These constraints justify the use of appropriate technological solutions, such as electricity storage.

Additionally, in Tahiti, the operation, control, and maintenance of the transmission network was previously managed by an integrated private operator, dominant in distribution and production. To speed up the energy transition, the Polynesian government therefore assigned TEP to become the autonomous guarantor of the management of the electrical system to encourage the arrival of new renewable energy producers. TEP has successfully taken over the maintenance of the transmission network in June 2019 and its operation in June 2020, and then its conduct in December 2020. Since January 2022, it has been responsible for the balance of Tahiti’s electricity system. RTE International will assist TEP in the implementation of its roadmap as an independent system operator.

« We are familiar with the Tahitian network and with TEP, with whom we have worked for several years. In aligning our futures, RTE international acquires a large reference in the management of island networks and offers expert knowledge from the RTE group, to TEP, to secure the power supply of Tahitians, improve the company’s performance and integrate renewable energy. Polynesia is aiming for ambitious targets with 75% renewable energy in its electricity mix by 2030 and I am delighted that our teams are joining forces to meet this challenge! »

Nicolas Bréham

CEO of RTE international

« TEP actively participated in the development of the shareholder agreements between the necessary shareholders for this sale, and we are delighted with the positive conclusion of this transaction, which consolidates and diversifies TEP’s shareholder base in line with its technical and public service challenges. »

Hervé Dubost-Martin

Chairman and CEO of TEP

About RTE international

RTE international is a consulting and engineering company covering all aspects of electricity transmission. It serves its customers all over the world, to help them develop reliable, competitive power systems that meet the challenges of the energy transition.

A subsidiary of RTE, the largest electricity transmission system operator in Europe, RTE international offers tailor-made solutions for the development, operation, and maintenance of networks to players in the electricity sector. Since its creation in 2006, its experts, drawing on the know-how and skills developed over 70 years within RTE, have carried out more than 300 projects in some fifty countries on all continents. RTE International employs nearly 80 staff and almost a hundred experts per year.

About TEP

Transporting our energies for the sustainable development of French Polynesia

Created in 1985, TEP is a semi-public company, which handles electrical energy transmission in Tahiti that transports Tahiti’s electrical energy from the production facilities to the distribution facilities. Its role is essential to ensure the continuity of electrical service in Tahiti, to promote the connection of renewable energies to the transmission network, and thus to facilitate the energy transition in French Polynesia.