Vattenfall's strong wind year marred by losses elsewhere

SWEDEN: Utility Vattenfall's wind division EBITDA increased 22.5% in 2015, while the group recorded a SEK 23 billion (€2.5 billion) operating loss in its financial year due to impairment losses in its lignite, nuclear and coal businesses.

Vattenfall's 288MW DanTysk offshore project was fully commissioned in 2015

The company's wind assets performed strongly with net sales increasing from SEK 5.2 billion (€558 million) in 2014 to SEK 6.7 billion (718 million) last year.

Underlying operating profit before depreciation, amortisation and impairment losses (EBITDA) increased 22.5% to SEK 4.6 billion.

Vattenfall said the improved figures, compared to a year earlier, was due to a number of projects being placed online as well as higher revenue and generation produced from its wind portfolio.

The 288MW DanTysk offshore project, the Clashindarroch onshore site in Scotland, the Kentish Flats Extension off the UK's south east coast, and Denmark's largest onshore development at Klim a were commissioned.

"Installed renewable capacity increased by a combined total of 445MW in 2015," Vattenfall said.

The group as a whole said lower electricity pricing and higher taxes lead to the SEK 36.8 billion (€4 billion) in impairment losses of its conventional and nuclear power sites.

"Of the total impairment losses, SEK 17.0 billion pertained to the Ringhals 1 and 2 nuclear reactors [in Sweden], SEK 15.2 billion pertained to lignite assets in Germany, and SEK 4.0 billion pertained to the Moorburg [coal] power plant in Hamburg, Germany," Vattenfall said in its financial statement.

In April 2015, Vattenfall announced plans to close the Ringhals 1 and 2 nuclear reactors five years earlier than planned because of poor profitability.

Vattenfall is accepting offers from interested parties for the acquisition of its lignite assets in Germany, which could also include some of its nearby hydro projects, the company said.