In 2017, electricity production grew by 6.7% (22.6 million kWh) over 2016 up to 361.2 million kWh. This increase was due to a greater electricity production of both plants.
Electricity production for the group's own uses, including ancillary services, losses and imbalances, amounted to 204.9 million kWh, while that destined to third parties came in at 156.3 million kWh.
Electricity allocated to the Energy Exchange recorded an increase of 17% (+18.8 million kWh) compared to 2016, achieving a total of 129.3 million kWh, while sales through bilateral contracts decreased (-0.8 million kWh).
In 2017, thermal energy production increased by 10.5% on 2016 (+38.1 million kWh) to 402.5 million kWh - of which over 73% serving the needs of Linate and Malpensa airports.
Sales to third-party customers increased by more than 10.1 million kWh (+10.6% on 2016), up to 105.5 million kWh. This increase in production resulted from the consolidation of supplies to civilian users adjacent to the Linate airport area. Indeed, from the beginning of 2015, the power plant was connected to the A2A-owned Canavese plant, near to the Viale Forlanini road, in order to provide supplementary heat energy to the city of Milan.
In 2017, the Energy business returned revenues of Euro 14,718 thousand (Euro 15,892 thousand in 2016), down Euro 1,174 thousand (-7.4%).
Net of non-recurring items (amounting to Euro 69 thousand in 2017), revenues fell by Euro 1,243 thousand.
This reduction is mainly due to the loss in revenues of Green Certificates, related to the Linate cogeneration plant following the end of the incentive period, amounting to Euro 4,698 thousand. This was partially offset by the positive trend in electric and thermal energy sales of Euro 5,941 thousand.
Operating costs amounted to Euro 13,014 thousand and are down when compared to the previous year (Euro 14,293 thousand in 2016, -8.9%).
Non-recurring costs in 2017 stood at –Euro 132 thousand and refer to mobility incentives for Euro 21 thousand and the write-off of system charges for Euro 153 thousand.
In 2016, non-recurring costs stood at Euro 51 thousand and relate to legal fees.
EBITDA and EBIT
As a result of the above trends, EBITDA registered an increase over the previous year amounting to Euro 104 thousand, from a value of Euro 1,600 thousand in 2016 to Euro 1,704 thousand in 2017. EBITDA net of non-recurring items decreased by Euro 147 thousand.
EBIT improved by Euro 391 thousand when compared to the previous year. EBIT amounted to Euro 609 thousand due to lower provisions for risks and charges related to disputes over white certificates.
EBIT stood at Euro 409 thousand when excluding non-recurring amounts, an increase of Euro 139 thousand compared to 2016.
In 2017, the company did not accrue the envisaged incentives for ‘district heating green certificates’, as the recognition period came to a close in 2016.
Regarding legal proceedings for green certificates assigned from 2010 to 2014, it should be noted that the 17,106 green certificates requested by the Italian grid operator, Energy Services Manager (Gestore dei Servizi Energetici - GSE), of which 12,435 came under the responsibility of the company and 4,671 under that of A2A, were offset with green certificates allocated for the year 2015. SEA Energia, through its legal team, filed an opportune appeal within the legal deadline.
The incentive for the year 2016 was regularly assigned and collected. The amount, just as the amount received for 2015, is not considered definitive, since GSE, in line with assessments for the period 2010-2014, may request the return of a portion. Consequently, a provision was allocated for future charges of Euro 490 thousand, given that the certificates were already collected at the reporting date.
In 2013, the Italian grid operator (Gestore dei Servizi Energetici - GSE) awarded the Malpensa plant the ‘High Energy Cogeneration’ (HEC) (Cogenerazione Alto Rendimento - CAR) industrial combined heat and power qualification that exempts it from the obligation to acquire green certificates.
The HEC qualification process progressed regularly in 2017 also for the Linate cogeneration plant.
In March 2017, an addendum was signed to the contract with A2A Calore e Servizi relating to the heat supply of the Linate cogeneration plant.
Through this addendum, SEA Energia committed to qualifying and maintaining its cogeneration units as HEC, in all cases except for force majeure, for the entire duration of the contract (i.e. until September 30, 2020). Furthermore, SEA Energia undertook to guarantee a cogeneration energy production quota to the specific requirements of A2A Calore e Servizi, through an annual program with intra-year adjustments in relation to the overall operation of the East Milan district heating system.
In 2017, SEA Energia did not accrue the envisaged incentives for ‘white certificates’, as the recognition period came to a close in 2016.
To date, 2,915 white certificates, for 2016, have been assigned for the Combined Cycle 2 H2O segment, with white certificates for the other Combined Cycle 1 segment still pending.
In accordance with European Directive 2003/87/EC, from January 1, 2005, plant operators which emit CO2 into the atmosphere must avail of an authorisation issued by the competent national authority. Each plant, in addition, must receive special “rights” permitting the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere without payment.
Where the rights allocated annually concerning the plant are not sufficient to cover emissions, these may be purchased on the market.
Conversely, where the rights allocated are in excess of the emissions produced, the rights not utilised may be sold.
For 2017, the overall production of CO2 by the company amounted to 192,190 tonnes, of which 127,073 tonnes generated by the Malpensa station and 65,117 tonnes produced by the Linate plant.
SEA Energia in 2017 produced, on its own account, 156,515 tonnes of CO2. Therefore, to offset the Ministry of Environment for the 192,190 tonnes produced, 35,675 CO2 quotas must be purchased on the market.