Chile's Colbún swings to profit in Q4

Monday, February 1, 2016

Chilean power generator Colbún reported a profit of US$69.3mn in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to a loss of US$59.1mn during the same period in 2014.

A company statement attributed the difference to "a better mix of generation" in 2015 and an impairment charge in 2014 related to the 2.75GW HidroAysén dam project, which had its environmental license revoked by authorities.

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Hydroelectric output was down 3% in 2015 for Colbún, but this was offset by decreased thermal generation costs.

Last year saw the US$786mn acquisition by a Colbún-led consortium of Peruvian power generator Fénix, which owns the eponymous 570MW combined-cycle gas turbine power station.

In Chile, Colbún's 34MW La Mina run-of-the-river hydropower plant is scheduled to become operational in early 2017, the firm said.

The statuses of projects Santa María II (coal-fired, 350MW) and San Pedro (hydropower, 160-170MW) remained unchanged from 3Q15.

Colbún has obtained environmental approval for Santa María II, but is "analyzing the social, economic and commercial dimensions" of the project in order to determine a construction start date.

Colbún is planning to re-submit the San Pedro project to environmental authorities, which rejected a series of modifications to its original design.

Colbún scheduled an earnings call for Wednesday, February 3.


In related news, China's State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) completed its acquisition of renewable energy firm Pacific Hydro from global fund manager IFM Investors for an undisclosed amount.

Pacific Hydro owns 19 hydroelectric plants and wind farms totaling 900MW in Chile, Australia and Brazil.

In Chile, Pacific Hydro is developing the 108MW Punta Sierra wind farm in Coquimbo region (IV) and the 125MW Nido de Águilas run-of-the-river hydropower plant in O'Higgins region (VI), both of which are currently at the environmental evaluation stage.

The Australian Financial Review reported in 2015 that IFM was seeking around US$1.6bn for Pacific Hydro.



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