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Signing of an Agreement for the renewal of hydropower concessions of Salanfe SA

On 29 December 2020, the municipalities of Salvan, Champéry, Vernayaz, Val-d’Illiez, Evionnaz, Troistorrents, and Monthey signed an Agreement with Alpiq and Salanfe SA to renew the hydropower concessions of Salanfe SA. On this basis, the signatories shall define the terms of implementation of the new concessions entering into force on 1 January 2033, effective for a duration of 80 years.

The hydropower complex of Salanfe SA benefit from concessions regarding the water rights granted in 1947 by the municipalities of Salvan, Champéry, Vernayaz, Val-d’Illiez, Evionnaz, Troistorrents, and Monthey. These concessions shall expire on 31 December 2032. In accordance with the Federal Law on the Use of Hydropower, Salanfe SA has informed the concession-granting municipalities of its intention to request the renewal of the concessions 15 years prior to their expiration. This shall be from 1 January 2033 and for a period of 80 years.

Following three years of talks, the concession-granting municipalities have declared their support of a renewal of Salanfe SA’s concessions. On 29 December 2020, the communal presidents and the representatives of Alpiq and Salanfe SA, signed an agreement which formalises said intention and that defines the terms in principle of the new concessions.

Applying the Hydropower Strategy

In accordance with the Hydropower Strategy of the Canton of Valais, 60% interest shall be returned to the concession-granting municipalities upon renewal of the concessions. Alpiq shall thereby reduce its share in the company from 100% to 40% on 1 January 2033. The concession-granting municipalities shall yield half of their shares in the company, i.e. 30%, to the Canton of Valais, respectively Forces Motrices Valaisannes (FMV). Each municipality shall decide individually to sell its shares to one or more regional electricity suppliers, in accordance with the financial terms to be defined at the time of the disposal of the shares. In return for the renewal of the concessions, Alpiq shall transfer compensation to the amount of CHF 40 million to the concession-granting municipalities, CHF 12 million of which shall be transferred on 31 December 2020.

Based on the Agreement concluded by them, the parties shall now proceed to define the details of the terms of the implementation of the new concessions in cooperation with the Canton of Valais, FMV, and the electricity suppliers concerned. The legislative bodies of the concession-granting municipalities shall make a definitive decision on whether or not they are indeed to grant the renewal of concessions to Salanfe SA at the end of this process – at the latest in 2031.

Salanfe in brief

Salanfe SA is a Swiss limited company founded in 1947 with 100% of its shares held by Alpiq. The hydropower complex encompasses the Salanfe dam, the Miéville power plant, and the pumping stations at Clusanfe and Giétroz du Fond. At 70 MW, the energy output is approximately 110 millions kWh in renewable energy annually.