MILAN, Feb. 5 (Class Editori) - The sale of Reftinskaya Gres, Enel Russia's largest coal-fired asset, marked the company's operating data. 2019 ended with a drop in production from 41.3 to 34.2 Gigawatt hours, 17.2% less in a year, concentrated in the third quarter, considering that Reftinskaya Gres left on October 1, 2019. However, the most awaited examination has yet to come: the Russian subsidiary of Enel in fact awaits the decision of the rating agencies which must decide whether to confirm the creditworthiness after the reduction of the company perimeter. Moody's announced the conclusion of the observation period for the revision of the rating of Enel Russia, which is currently equal to Ba3. "The review was conducted through an analysis of the portfolio in light of recent developments and a comparison of the operational and financial profile of peers". The current rating of the company, recalls Moody's, reflects a relationship between Ffo (Funds from operations) and debt at 47.1% recorded in mid-2019 and also the fact that Enel Russia is part of the Enel group, which can potentially ensure support operational and liquidity in case of need. Moody's also underlines its commitment to renewable energy, with 291 megawatts of wind capacity that will be installed between this year and 2021, and the high payout.
While waiting to understand how these considerations will affect the rating, according to the management of Enel Russia, leaving the coal was still the right choice, as well as in line with the indications of the parent company led by the managing director Francesco Starace, and the countermeasures are already in the pipeline. The reason is that the operational and financial repercussions of the farewell to the asset passed to Kuzbassenergo for about 300 million euros (17.7 billion rubles) will be compensated by a green reorganization, which will gradually shift resources towards renewables. Just look at how the investments are spread over the 2022 plan. Of the approximately 450 million euros envisaged for Enel Russia, 75% will be destined for renewables, which will see the first two wind farms in Azov and Murmansk go into operation, for those 291 megawatts mentioned by Moody's. In the pipeline also the plan to modernize the traditional power plant park, which concerns Sredneuralskaya Gres and Nevinnomysskaya Gres.
"These are key projects for our assets", explains the general manager Carlo Palasciano Villamagna, "in line with Enel Russia's commitment to a mix of sustainable generation, alongside the most recent investments in renewables to improve the traditional generation". Also according to Vtb, one of the largest Russian banks, Enel's subsidiary is about to become one of the major players of renewables in Russia, a market that is only now opening up to green energy. Although the debate on a sort of preferential lane for utilities with a Russian share majority is still ongoing in the country, the government knows that if it wants to implement its plan, it cannot exclude the big foreign players. The Kremlin program has allocated investments of 725 billion rubles (about 11 billion dollars) to the sector by 2050.
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