UK’s National Grid boosts capital expenditure plans

(Reuters) -Britain’s National Grid on Thursday raised its planned capital spend by 2 billion pounds to 42 billion pounds ($51.64 billion) over 2025-26, as it steps up investment in UK onshore and offshore transmission projects.

National Grid has been trying to transition to more renewable power generation and speed up its clean energy projects as global economies target net zero emissions.

The increased investment is expected to accelerate asset and earnings per share growth, National Grid said in a statement.

“In the U.S., we’re now progressing a number of major transmission projects to unlock renewable generation and upgrade infrastructure across our jurisdictions,” CEO John Pettigrew said.

Pettigrew had earlier said policy and regulatory reforms are needed for the UK to hit its energy transition target.

He said he was now looking forward to seeing announcements and consultations translated into decisions and action to deliver the energy transition across the Atlantic.

Shares of the energy company were up around 1% as of 1039 GMT.

National Grid said last month it expects operating profit to be broadly evenly split across the year for its UK businesses, but more heavily weighted towards the second half for its U.S. ones.

The company also added that it expects the UK government’s change to the capital allowances legislation from April 1, 2023 to have a 6 pence – 7 pence per share impact on EPS for 2023-24.

The company, which runs Britain’s energy systems and operates electricity and gas businesses in New York and Massachusetts, posted a 15% drop in first-half underlying operating profit, but was in line with analysts’ expectations.

The slump reflected one-off benefits in the year ago period such as property sales and insurance proceeds that were not repeated in the current year.

($1 = 0.8133 pounds)

(Reporting by Aatrayee Chatterjee and Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)