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Europe’s largest insurer Allianz to pull funds out of coal businesses

Europe’s largest insurer Allianz to pull funds out of coal businesses

Allianz will withdraw investment from coal companies over the next six months, a top executive told German state broadcaster ZDF on Monday.

The Munich-based insurer, which manages €2 trillion worth of assets, is divesting from mining firms and utilities that get more than 30% of revenues or power from coal.

Chief investment officer Andreas Gruber said it would double investment in wind power to €4 billion over the next few years :

“We will no longer invest in mining companies and utilities that generate more than 30 percent of their sales or energy creation from coal”, Mr Gruber commented.

The financial giant is the largest asset manager yet to announce its departure from the most polluting fossil fuel.

It follows French counterpart Axa, which in May committed to sell €500 million worth of coal holdings, and Norway’s $900 billion sovereign wealth fund (€846m).

An estimated US$2.6 trillion (€2.4tn) worth of funds had committed to fully or partially divest from fossil fuels by September.

The moral case for cutting ties with the climate-damaging sector has got a boost from coal’s recent crash in value. A slowdown in demand growth from China has driven global coal prices down to half their 2011 level.

Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said at a webcast briefing on Tuesday those who bought coal shares in 2013 would today have lost 75% of their investment.

The Allianz Group employs 147,000 people and operates in over 70 countries, according to its website.

Posted in Finance, Fossil Fuels0 Comments

Enel to sell 49% stake in Hydro Dolomiti Enel to Fedaia Holdings

Enel to sell 49% stake in Hydro Dolomiti Enel to Fedaia Holdings

Italian energy company Enel’s subsidiary Enel Produzione, has signed a deal to sell its entire 49% stake in Hydro Dolomiti Enel to Fedaia Holdings for €335m.

Fedaia Holdings is a subsidiary of Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4, managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

HDE operates hydropower plants, mainly located in the Province of Trento, Italy, with a total installed capacity of about 1,280 MW. More specifically, the assets comprise 26 large hydro power plants, for a total of 1,277.3 MW, and 2 small hydro power plants, totalling 2.4 MW.

HDE generated 4.2 TWh of electricity in 2014, and the same year the company reported EBITDA of 247 million euros.

However, the closing of the sale is conditional on Dolomiti Energia S.p.A. (which holds the remaining 51% of HDE), waiving or not exercising its right of pre-emption and on the buyer receiving clearance from the EU antitrust authority.

The transaction will enable the Enel Group to reduce its consolidated net financial debt by an amount equal to, approximately, the total consideration noted above.

Following the deal, Dolomiti Energia will continue to own the remaining stake.

The sale is part of Enel Group’s plan to sell minority stakes companies and invest in other growth opportunities outlined by the company last March.

Posted in Business, Finance, Hydroeletric Energy0 Comments

Orders drop 6% at Boskalis

Orders drop 6% at Boskalis

Royal Boskalis Westminster’s order book fell 6.1% in the third quarter of 2015 to €2.8bn, according to the company’s latest results.

The company said its operating profit was lower than quarterly result achieved in the first half of the year and he same period last year.

However, this was in line with expectations because of the first six months of the year was characterized by a “high fleet utilization and exceptionally good project margins”.

Operating profit was also lower than the level achieved in the third quarter of last year which was positively impacted by substantial settlement results on old dredging projects.

Boskalis said market conditions remain challenging, particularly in the capacity-driven segments in the offshore energy market, “resulting in pressure on work volumes and pricing”.

Offshore energy experienced a “lower utilization of heavy transport vessels” and the sector posted lower revenue and results compared with past quarters :

“The nature of our activities means that we are largely late-cyclical in the offshore segment”, Boskalis commented.

It added that although 2015 will yield an overall net profit for the company in line with expectations this will be below the record level in 2014 €490m.

Posted in Finance, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy0 Comments

RWE Innogy ‘taking off’ as offshore wind delivers revenues

RWE Innogy ‘taking off’ as offshore wind delivers revenues

RWE’s renewables division recorded a “marked improvement” in earnings in the first three quarters of the year, boosting the operating result earned by RWE Innogy to €280m, up €251m year on year.

The German company said this was due mainly to the commissioning of the new wind farms Gwynt y Môr off the coast of North Wales and Nordsee Ost near Heligoland :

“RWE Innogy is really taking off now, from a small seed three years ago it has become a model of success”, RWE chief executive Peter Terium claimed.

Despite the increase, renewables continued to make up only a small fraction of RWE Group’s overall Ebitda of €4.4bn during the first three quarters, down 6.3% from the year-earlier period amid a plunge in earnings from fossil-fired power generation.

However, the divestment of the grid connection for Gwynt y Môr helped reduce the company’s debt €1bn.

Posted in Finance0 Comments

Vattenfall sells 65 MW of small Danish wind farms to focus on larger projects

Vattenfall sells 65 MW of small Danish wind farms to focus on larger projects

Swedish operator Vattenfall has sold 88 wind turbines in Denmark to Green Power Partners for an undisclosed sum.

The turbines come from 19 wind farms on Jutland and have a total capacity of 65MW. Vattenfall says the sale comprises farms that do not fit its strategy to focus on larger wind power projects :

“The size of these wind farms does not match Vattenfall’s strategic direction, which is why we decided to sell them. We can now concentrate on further developing and strengthening our position in Denmark in the sector of large-scale onshore and offshore wind power”, said Martin Reinholdsson, Vice President of Vattenfall Generation.

One of the company’s large onshore developments in Denmark is the modernisation of the Klim wind farm in North-West Jutland that is almost complete now. It involves the replacement of 35 older turbines by 22 “much more efficient” ones.

At the same time, Vattenfall has emerged as one of the seven candidates to build the 600-MW Kriegers Flak offshore wind park in Danish waters. It is also working on the 400-MW Horns Rev 3 wind farm off the west coast of Jutland.

Posted in Finance, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy, Wind Energy0 Comments

Aquila wins bid for Smakraft

Aquila wins bid for Smakraft

Aquila Capital has won the bid to buy Norwegian hydropower company Smakraft which has a portfolio of 45 operating plants generating more than 500GWh. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

This is the third hydro acquisition in 18 months for German-based Aquila and adds to its presence in the hydropower sector. Aquila already owns Norsk Grønnkraft and has stakes of 36% in Tinfos and 33% in Jørpeland Kraft.

Aquila Capital, part of the Aquila Group, which has 8 billion euros in assets under management, said the acquisition will make it the largest operator of small-scale hydropower plants in Europe.

Statkraft chairman Haakon Alfstad commented :

“Aquila Capital’s acquisition of Småkraft as will ensure the continued growth of small scale hydro production in Norway. We expect the transaction to be completed by the end of the year.”

Posted in Finance, Green Energy, Hydroeletric Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy0 Comments

Nordex scores big sales increase

Nordex scores big sales increase

German turbine manufacturer Nordex posted earnings of €97.6 million in the third quarter of 2015, a 63% rise on the same period last year, helped by falling costs and rising demand in Europe and South Africa.

Orders have gone up by 57% and the performance has led the German company Nordex to raise its sales target for 2015 by roughly 15% from €1.9-2.1bn to between €2.3bn and €2.4bn.

Orders on hand climbed by 32% which, the company said in a statement, “provide the underpinnings for the expected growth in the first half of 2016.”

Europe and South Africa accounted for 88% of total sales with the remaining 12% coming from the Americas.

Nordex chief executive Lars Bondo Krogsgaard revealed the company plans to expand further.

He said: “We are currently growing more quickly than the wind power industry as a whole. This is due to our focus on the right markets, products and services. To ensure that we remain on this course of expansion in the long term, we have now decided to substantially strengthen our business by combining our activities with those of Acciona Windpower.”

Indeed, in early October, Nordex surprised the industry with the announcement it would acquire rival Acciona Windpower in a €785 million cash and shares deal. In return, the Acciona Group would become Nordex’s reference shareholder with a 29.9% stake.

The company will report on its medium-term outlook and strategic orientation at a capital markets day taking place tomorrow in Frankfurt.

Posted in Finance, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy, Wind, Wind Energy0 Comments

Record year for Availon company

Record year for Availon company

Independent service provider Availon has added 620MW of wind turbine generators under operation & maintenance (O&M) contracts this year, a record for the company.

Some 390 wind turbines have been added to the company’s roster, which has grown 20% in the last 12 months :

“Germany, Spain and Italy, which have had many wind farms coming out of warranty, represent the majority of the additions”, the company said.

Availon saw a significant increase in new O&M contracts for GE and Vestas turbines, which make up the majority of turbines under contract at the company.

The average age of turbines under contract has dropped because more and more wind farm owners decide to change from OEMs to Availon as soon as the warranty ends, the company also reported.

Availon global sales manager Michael Richter said:

“Customers, banks and insurers know that Availon is an attractive alternative to the turbine manufacturers for aftermarket service, and push even for a switch over. There will be plenty of opportunities available to us in the booming O&M market and we are well positioned to take full advantage of them.”

Posted in Finance, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy0 Comments

North’s largest energy-from-waste facility ready to power ahead

North’s largest energy-from-waste facility ready to power ahead

A £107m energy-from-waste plant (€151m) planned for Belfast has moved a step closer with news that the finance for it has been put in place.

The operating company is Full Circle Generation Ltd, made up of a consortium of equity investors including RiverRidge Energy Limited, UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB), Equitix and P3P Partners.

It will service aeroplane company Bombardier’s facility in the harbour estate in the east of the city, and is expected to be operational by late 2017.

What will be the north’s largest energy-from-waste facility, providing 14.85 megawatts of energy from household waste, will also provide 250 construction jobs and 20 full-time jobs once completed.

Planning documents suggest it could cut Bombardier’s energy bill by a quarter.

The energy from waste plant has the capacity to take 180,000 tonnes of fuel a year derived from black bin waste, and it currently has planning permission to deal with 120,000 tonnes.

The scheme will incorporate the use of gasification technology – a process that converts any material containing carbon into synthesis gas (syngas) which can then be burned to produce electricity or further processed to manufacture chemicals or fertilisers.

Managing director of RiverRidge Energy and RiverRidge Recycling Ltd, Brett Ross, described the announcement as “a significant day” for the Northern Irish waste management sector.

“It is also a significant day for the Northern Irish economy as a whole”, Mr Ross said.

Posted in Biogas Energy, Biomass Energy, Finance, Waste Disposal0 Comments

EIB signs €285 million loans to support energy projects in Greece

EIB signs €285 million loans to support energy projects in Greece

The European Investment Bank (EIB) signed on Tuesday €285 million of loans to support various energy projects in Greece, improving the electricity transmission and interconnection network across the country, while at the same time bolstering environmental-friendly energy security and efficiency.

EIB president Werner Hoyer said:

“We are determined to enhance our cooperation with the Hellenic Republic, other European development finance institutions and private investors in further assisting recovery in Greece.”

A loan of €110m, which has been granted to the Greek utility Public Power (PPC), is the second tranche of an EIB €190m loan intended to develop power projects on Greek islands.

The project is expected to install fossil fuel fired engines on 18 Greek islands, which are not interconnected to the mainland grid in the North and East Aegean, Dodecanese, Cyclades, and the Diapontia island complex. It also aims at upgrading auxiliary infrastructure for the projects.

EIB has also signed a €70m deal with Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) in the country, with power transmission and the interconnection of the Cyclades islands to the mainland network are expected to be improved under it.

This deal marks the second phase of an EIB €140m loan, which was signed to support IPTO’s power transmission investment programme within the period covering 2012-17.

An additional €65m financing aid has also been allowed by EIB, as a second tranche of an EIB €130m loan intended for the interconnection of the Cyclades islands.

Another €40m loan was offered to the Hellenic National Gas System Operator (DESFA), extending EIB’s support for the natural gas system in Greece.

Posted in Business, Finance, Fossil Fuels, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy0 Comments


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