The federal state, through its Ministry of Energy, sets the level of the contribution paid by oil companies to APETRA quarterly, which must by law cover APETRA's operating expenditure, including financial interests.
The very close tights between APETRA and the Belgian state are also demonstrated by the former's full access to the FDA to refinance its outstanding debt.
APETRA is the exclusive manager of this obligation for Belgium.
Fitch views APETRA's integration into the general government sector as being highly supportive of the entity's credit quality.
Fitch considers APETRA as a proxy funding vehicle for the federal state, specifically created to manage the country's strategic oil stocks reserves so that it remains compliant with its international commitment.
In 2018, APETRA's stockholding obligation (compulsory strategic oil reserves) increased 26% as compared with 2017 to 4.4 million tons due to the reduction in the naphta yield, which enters into the stockholding obligation formula.
The risk of refinancing is limited by APETRA's access to the FDA, which will allow the entity to refinance debt at the respective maturity date.
APETRA's levy is collected on a monthly basis and is linked to the sales of each oil company and distributor in Belgium, resulting in stable cash inflows.