Iberdrola to shed wind farm portfolios in Greece, Hungary, Portugal and Italy – CFO

13 Mar 14 – Iberdrola [IBE SM], the Madrid-headquartered utility, will divest its wind farm fleets in Italy, Portugal, Hungary and Greece as part of its EUR 500m divestment plan, chief financial officer Jose Sainz told this news service.

The wind farms, which have a total installed capacity of 637MW, are to be sold over the next three years. The company intends to fully retreat from the renewable energy markets in these countries as the returns are marginal, a company spokesperson added.

For sale are Alto do Monçao (32MW), Catefica (18MW) and Serra do Alvao (42MW) in Portugal; Arachnaio II (38 MW), Alinda (4.2MW), Anavra (17MW), Antia A (24MW), Antia B (12.6MW), Heraklion (3.6MW), Kerveros (31.2MW), Kos (4.2MW), Machrirachi 1 (3.4MW), Machrirachi (24MW), Machrirachi (11.4MW), Mitato (3MW), Patriarchis (40.3MW), Plakokeratia (4.8MW), Plakokeratia (10.2MW), Skopies 1 (9.6 MW) and Skopies 2 (13.8MW) in Greece; and Amundsen (26MW), Csoma (38MW), Csoma II (8MW), Kisigmand (50MW), Scott (36MW) in Hungary.

Iberdrola’s Italian wind portfolio, also part of the disposal plan, totals 132MW and includes Nebrodi (64MW).

Notably, its unprofitable gas-fired power plant fleet in the UK is not part of its divestment program. The 715MW Rye House, 793MW Damhead Creek and 420MW Shoreham gas-fired plants are only switched on during peak hours and times of high power prices. Even at such times, running costs are not always recovered.

“I don’t think anybody will buy the gas-fired power plants in the UK. But if you know somebody who can give us a fantastic price…call me”, Sainz said.

The clean spark spread – the gross margin for a gas-fired power plant from the sale of a unit of electricity – for the Day-ahead Baseload contract for delivery on 13 March traded around GBP 4.00/MWh on the UK OTC market on 12 March. Spark spreads would have to be as wide as GBP 12.00/MWh for the long-term costs of gas-fired power plants to be recovered, a market source said.

When prompted, Sainz said Iberdrola had no immediate plans to sell its 19.6% controlling stake Spanish wind farm manufacturer Gamesa, despite newspaper articles suggesting a potential divestment. “We have always been a stable shareholder in Gamesa and we will continue to be like that in the next year,” said Sainz.

Iberdrola has a market cap of EUR 30.79bn.

by Katie McQue

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