China Three Gorges launches into electricity commercialization in Spain

China Three Gorges launches into the domestic electricity market. The Asian renewables giant is trying to enter the energy retail market. And for this, it seeks the purchase of an independent and consolidated marketer in the Spanish market, according to financial sources. Five days.

China Three Gorges’ commitment to the Spanish market is clear. In 2020 it carried out its first operation in the Spanish market with the purchase of 500 MW solar assets from X-Elio and reached the final phase in the bid for T-Solar, Abengoa’s former renewable subsidiary, where it ended up winning the background I Squared. And in February of this year it opted for wind power, with the purchase of 400MW from the Masaveu family.

Last year he also laid the foundations of his bet in Spain and opened a subsidiary in Madrid. This company, China Three Gorges (Spain) SL, depends on a Luxembourg company, as well as its office in Lisbon. Ignacio Herrero –since 2016 the strongman of China Three Gorges in Europe and previously head of energy in southern Europe at Credit Suisse– coordinates the activity of the owner of the world’s largest dam on the entire Iberian Peninsula.

Once the Asian company already has assets in renewable generation, both wind and solar, and although it continues to analyze opportunities in this area, China Three Gorges is exploring the entry into the sale of energy to individuals and companies. Therefore, it combs the Spanish market with the aim of finding an independent company of size and at an affordable price. The Asian giant has already tried to acquire an important energy operator in the Iberian Peninsula. It launched an unsuccessful takeover by Portuguese power company EDP, of which it currently controls 19%.

Possible targets

The vast majority of the Spanish energy marketing market, mainly retail, is in the hands of very few companies. Endesa, Iberdrola and Naturgy account for more than 80% of the market among the three, but in recent years small independent marketers have managed to make their place. Some examples are those of Audax or Holaluz, which are listed on the continuous market and BME Growth, respectively. And also Factorenergia, which with more than 100,000 clients and an incipient business in power generation, is exploring its IPO for this year.

The energy trading market has been grazed in recent years by mergers and acquisitions. For example, the Italian oil company Eni has just reached an agreement with the Spanish Podo, which in January had acquired Cepsa’s electricity and gas retail business, to acquire 25% of its shareholding in exchange for a contract to supply electricity. long-term gas from the Portuguese. On the other hand, the Italian oil company Eni has just entered the Spanish retail market with the purchase of the Cantabrian marketer Aldo Energía.

But the most relevant operation in this sector was carried out by Repsol in 2018 with the purchase of the Viesgo trading company and renewable assets of this firm with a capacity of more than 2,000 MW. Then it expanded its commercial strategy to the sale of electricity and gas to the retail client and signed María Victoria Zigini to pilot the bet, which is related to the plan of the great Spanish oil company to turn from oil to green energy. It now has more than 600,000 clients, according to the latest figures from the CNMC, and has included it under its new client affiliate. This new subsidiary is one of the spearheads of its new strategic plan and in recent months it has launched a process, together with Citi, to sell a minority stake or explore an IPO. But he has finally decided to leave this process in dry dock, as this newspaper published.

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