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    Swiss Axpo Grows LNG, Renewables Earnings


Diversification abroad helped offset lower 2017-18 Swiss earnings.

by: Mark Smedley

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Renewables, Gas to Power, News By Country, Italy, Spain, Switzerland

Swiss Axpo Grows LNG, Renewables Earnings

Swiss utility Axpo’s annual profits and gas sales declined but its LNG sales increased, the company said December 12.

Profits for the 12-month financial year to September 30 2018 were Swiss francs 131mn ($132mn), down 58% from CHF 310mn the preceding year, due to lower Swiss power revenues.

International LNG sales however increased by 17.5% to 23.5 TWh (2.2bn m3 or 1.6mn metric tons). The company procures and trades LNG in the event it is needed for its southern European gas-fired plants, and in August signed a term sheet to buy from a potential east coast Canadian LNG exporterInternational earnings generally were higher (see below).  

Axpo also said in 2017/18 it received a licence for gas trading in Ukraine and completed its first such transactions there, which it views as a “strategic market” but did not provide volumes.

The company hedges its power production up to three years in advance, so a recent rise in Swiss electricity prices will only boost 2019/20 results. Axpo’s 2017/18 electricity sales volume was down 13% year on year at 59.34 terawatt-hours (TWh) – but its own nuclear plants produced more - while its overall natural gas sales were 70% lower at 2.9 TWh-gas (0.27bn mal).

International earnings improved in 2017/18, particularly energy trading, renewable/hydro power marketing (of which it markets 14 GW across Europe, including 5.8 GW in Spain, 3.2 GW in Scandinavia and 1.3 GW in Italy) and operation of its gas-fired power plants in Italy. It also claimed a first in Portugal, where Axpo financed and built 25 MW solar plant in the city of Evora, the first time on the Iberian peninsula such a project was implemented without government subsidy.