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Belgium and Engie reach deal on extension of nuclear reactors -energy minister

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium and French utility group Engie have reached a deal on the extension of two nuclear reactors, Doel 4 and Tihange 3, according to the country's energy minister.

"The deal with Engie has been completed. We have extended the two nuclear power plants that could be extended", Belgian energy minister Tinne Van der Straeten said on social media platform X on Sunday evening.

The legal texts will now have to be approved by the entire government and Belgium's supreme administrative court before being sent to parliament and the European Union for approval, she added.

Van der Straeten told Belgian broadcaster VRT that she hoped to complete the Belgian legislative process before the country's elections in June.

Tihange is a 1,038 megawatt (MW) reactor in eastern Belgium, while Doel is a 1,039 MW reactor near the port city of Antwerp. The reactors, which entered service in 1985, make up 35% of the country's nuclear energy capacity.

Asked to comment on the situation, a spokesperson for Engie replied that the texts were 'practically finalised' and now needed to go through the usual political process before a final, definitive signature on the deal was reached.

(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout; Editing by Jamie Freed/Sudip Kar-Gupta)