World News

Grid operator Red Electrica’s chairman resigns over clash with government: source

MADRID (Reuters) – Jordi Sevilla, the chairman of Spanish grid operator Red Electrica de Espana <REE.MC>, will step down on Tuesday over a disagreement with the government about strategic decisions, a source close to Sevilla told Reuters on Monday.

Sevilla opposes cuts on electricity transportation tolls approved by the competition watchdog in December and supported by the government, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Confirming a report from El Pais newspaper, the source also said Sevilla disagreed with the government on other strategic issues, such as the handling of satellite operator Hispasat, which Red Electrica bought last year..

The Spanish government owns a 20% stake in Red Electrica, which runs the country’s electricity grid. The company’s revenues and profitability are generally predictable since they depend almost entirely on regulated fees.

The source said Sevilla handed his resignation to the energy and environment minister Teresa Ribera on Sunday. He will officially present his resignation to the company’s board on Tuesday.

An official from the ministry’s press department said the minister Ribera respects Sevilla’s personal decisions and the company’s independence.

The government has not yet found a successor, the official added.

Sevilla, a former minister in the socialist Zapatero government, was appointed to the job in mid 2018.

(Reporting by Belen Carreno, Writing by Inti Landauro Editing by Ashifa Kassam, editing by Barbara Lewis)