The history of ENGIE begins in the first half of the 19th century at the height of the Industrial Revolution in France and Belgium. Since then, the Group has diversified in response to changes in society, including population growth, urbanisation, higher standards of living and environmental protection to become a global energy industry leader.Construction of the 70kV power grid of Centrale Electrique de l'Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse, circa 1930.
The history of the ENGIE Group is one of merger between many of the biggest names in European industry over a period of more than 180 years, including:
- Société Générale de Belgique
- Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez
- Société Lyonnaise des Eaux et de l’Éclairage
- Gaz de France
- International Power
The origins of the Group in the first half of the 19th century were marked by the enormous expansion in transportation, with the rush to build canals, railroads and tramways. The period between 1946 and 1955 was dominated by the need for industrial unity in France, which in turn led to the nationalization of Gaz de France.
The discovery of natural gas in 1951 led to nothing less than the transformation of the Group between 1956 and 1967 to become a natural gas transporter, supplier and trader.
The 1980s marked the extensive internationalization of the Group's business interests. By 2005, international activities contributed 30% of its revenue.
A merger between SUEZ and Gaz de France formed the global energy group GDF SUEZ in 2008.
In 2011, GDF SUEZ acquired International Power to become the world's largest independent power generator.
GDF SUEZ changed its name to ENGIE in 2015.