Gasum Hit by Low Demand, Prices in Q1
Finnish state utility saw its Q1 net income fall to €7 ($7.6)mn from €12.8mn in the same period last year, as low commodity prices and demand hit its business. Operating profit totalled €12.3mn, down 29.7% from €17.5mn, on the basis of continuing operations, it reported May 7.
At the turn of the year, the Finnish pipeline gas market was opened up to competition and Gasgrid Finland, the gas transmission network company unbundled from Gasum, became operational.
Natural gas prices plummeted to lows seen in 2009, making the fuel cheaper than coal in power production, but at the same time, Finnish pipeline gas demand dropped by about a fifth year on year owing to the mild winter and low power prices. Gas supply remained strong and Europe’s gas stocks were exceptionally high
CEO Johanna Lamminen said the company was developing its strategy in the Nordic gas market despite the uncertainties brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gas continued to grow as a maritime transport fuel and the company signed an LNG delivery agreement with the Norwegian energy company Equinor. Biogas is also attracting interest in maritime transport. In Sweden Gasum started regular deliveries of renewable shipping fuel to the fuel company Preem. It also continued to build its Nordic gas filling station network by opening three new stations.
Gas vehicle registrations continued to increase despite the changes in the operating environment and the number of gas-fuelled vehicles now exceeds 11,000 in Finland and 50,000 in Sweden.