Utility Week

UTILITY Week 20th June 2014

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UTILITY WEEK | 20Th - 26Th JUnE 2014 | 19 Finance & Investment Data file Blue Transmission Greater Gabbard Ofto Transmission Capital Partners Transfer value (£m) The offshore transmission regime has already attracted £1.4 billion of investment, Ofgem said last week. It is consulting on estimates that the competitive tender process saved consumers between £200 million and £400 million. The regulator has awarded licences to three offshore transmission owners (Oftos), who between them operate power links to nine offshore windfarms. Blue Transmission, a partnership between 3i and Japan's Mitsubishi, won four tenders worth £867 million, including the London Array deal. Greater Gabbard Ofto (Balfour Beatty, Equitix and AMP Capitals) runs a link worth £317 million to the windfarm of the same name. Transmission Capital Partners, a joint venture between Amber Infrastructure and Transmission Investment, took four contracts worth £253 million. Licences for five more links worth £1.5 billion are in the tender process. This week CfDs may favour expensive generation Allocation process overlooks cost-effective alternative generation projects, says Which? Contracts for difference (CfDs) could prioritise expensive generation projects over more cost-effective options, according to consumer group Which? In a letter to the energy sec- retary, Which? executive director Richard Lloyd called for a review of the CfD allocation process for 2015 "to establish whether it is delivering value for money". He said he supported the drive to secure £110 billion of investment in energy generation, but warned that "the absence of full competition" in the CfD process could see more expensive generation technologies being chosen ahead of "cheaper, more cost-effective options". Lloyd added: "Urgent consideration should be given to driving price competition not only between technolo- gies, but also within technologies." In the letter, which was also sent to the Treasury, Lloyd said he supported the move towards low-carbon generation, but not at any cost. In a briefing note attached to the letter, Which? said: "It is not appropri- ate to shield offshore wind developers from competitive cost pressure. "We see no compelling reason why offshore wind developers should not at least compete with other off- shore wind developers for subsidy." A spokesperson from the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "CfDs provide the most efficient long-term support for all forms of low-carbon genera- tion – including nuclear, renewables and carbon capture and storage." MB WATEr Tideway Tunnel: investors sought Thames Water has launched a competitive tender process, inviting investors to finance its 25km Thames Tideway "super sewer" project. The project was initially led by Thames Water but will be trans- ferred to a standalone company. Managing director of the Thames Tideway Tunnel Mike Gerrard said the project had already attracted "a lot" of inter- est from investors. The successful bidder will be announced in early 2015, at the same time the main works contracts are confirmed, said the company. WATEr Welsh Water enjoys best year since 2001 Welsh Water on Thursday reported a 72 per cent increase in underlying profit, from £29 mil- lion to £50 million for the year ended 31 March. The company said the past year was its strongest opera- tional performance since it began operating as a non-share- holder company in 2001. Welsh Water parent company Glas Cymru has no sharehold- ers, so underlying profit can be "reinvested for the benefit of customers", the company said. Welsh Water will reduce customer bills by 5 per cent in real terms over the next price control period, 2015-20, while investing more than £2.5 billion, according to dra determina- tions published by Ofwat two weeks ago. WATEr Thames Water profits soar 79% Thames Water's pre-tax profit for the year ending 31 March 2014 "returned to trend", soar- ing almost 80 per cent on the previous year to £259.3 mil- lion, the company's financial results show. Pre-tax profit last year was hit by "unforeseen expenses" – including drought, higher power costs and spiralling bad debt – and slumped to £144.9 million from £222 million in 2011/12. Despite the dramatic increase in pre-tax profit for 2013/14, the company reduced total dividends paid to shareholders from £231.4 million last year to £208.5 million, in line with limits agreed with Ofwat, a spokesman said. Thames Water chief execu- tive Martin Baggs said weather continued to pose "substantial challenges" to the company last year, "but despite demand for water reaching a 19-year high in the summer and flooding throughout much of our region in the winter, we got the network back to full operation quickly". Offshore wind: more competition needed 867 317 253

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