Utility Week

UTILITY Week 16 05 14

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4 | 16th - 22nd May 2014 | UtILIty WEEK National media Votes elude Miliband Labour leader Ed Miliband is strug- gling in the polls despite wide- spread support for his policies, according to the latest polls from youGov and ICM. 69% support his proposed energy price freeze 61% support the gov- ernment being able to block foreign takeovers 26% think he makes it clear what he stands for 23% think he is up to the job as PM 14% think he is a strong leader 2 points tory lead over Labour in an ICM poll Salmond says he will create oil wealth fund Alex Salmond has accused Westminster of mismanaging Scotland's oil wealth aer a civil service briefing paper showed that UK ministers were advised to set up a wealth fund in the 1970s – advice they never acted on. The Times Centrica plans for life after Laidlaw Centrica has told shareholders it had begun planning to replace chief executive Sam Laidlaw, although the owner of British Gas declined on Monday to put a timescale on his departure. Financial Times New threat to big six as Gurkhas enter the fray with Gnergy Five years aer the actress Joanna Lumley helped them win the right to settle in the UK, the Gurkhas are taking on the might of the big six energy companies. A group of 200 former Gurkhas in Farnborough, Hampshire, have clubbed together to invest £600,000 to set up their own energy provider. Called Gnergy, it is probably the most unusual new independent supplier. The Times story by NUMbErs S pecialist infrastructure funds are the most likely buyers for the three gas- fired power stations Centrica has put on the market, according to industry experts. Centrica announced last week it wanted sell its loss- making Langage, Humber and Killingholme combined-cycle gas plants (CCGTs) and free up capital to upgrade three smaller "peaking" plants. It lost £130 million in gas-fired power generation last year. The energy company could continue to operate the plants under different ownership or in a joint venture, chief executive Sam Laidlaw said on Monday. In a video interview pub- lished alongside the AGM, Laidlaw said upgrading the older power stations would mean UK capacity overall was increased, despite the sale. Centrica would then bid its older Peterborough, Barry and Brig plants into the capacity auctions in December. The book value of the three plants is around £500 million and Centrica is unlikely to get a higher price for them, accord- ing to analyst John Musk of RBC Capital Markets. "There is not going to be a long line of buyers," he said. They could attract infrastruc- ture investors such as Brookfield and Macquarie, he suggested. Macquarie has bought three UK CCGTs in the past two years. Martin Brough, analyst at Deutsche Bank, said other utili- ties were unlikely to buy plant with a competition investigation looming. "It would be quite provocative for any of the major suppliers to increase their verti- cal integration at the moment," he said. MD Seven days... Centrica looking to sell loss-making gas plants £7m the contract value between developer Green for Life Energy and FLI Energy for the construction of the Fraddon Biogas project in Cornwall, which began this week. 3 million Welsh Water customers now have the choice of online or paper bill- ing as part of the Right to Choose pledge "The attack may be carried out by hacktivists or those with government or political associations" Cyber security specialist Radware on the increased risk faced by European utilities after a spate of attacks seen in Ukraine.

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