Iberdrola and Endesa add three consecutive days of falls on the stock market and lose 4.8 billion of capitalization.

The vice president of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera.

The sharp increase in the price of electricity and the government’s reaction against electricity revenues have awakened old confrontations between the parties and left in the air the great agreement they reached on the timetable for the closure of nuclear power plants for the next decade. Endesa and Iberdrola, owners of most facilities, yesterday prolonged their falls on the stock market and already lost 4.9 billion euros of capitalization in the last three days.

Investors continue to analyze the draft bill approved last Tuesday by the Council of Ministers to try to calculate the amount that the new rate on electricity will entail in the income statement of the two electricity giants. ‘CO2 dividend’. The estimates are based on a hit of close to 800 million euros in 2022 and from then on it will be reduced in parallel with the lower use of gas thermal power plants, which affect the cost of CO2 emission rights on the price of electricity. light they generate. As it is a marginal market, that price is then charged by all producers, including those who do not bear the cost of CO2, such as nuclear and hydraulic ones.

One of the great doubts of investors is whether this mechanism will pass the parliamentary process without being softened during the double round that it must face as a preliminary draft and, later, as a bill. JP Morgan, RBC, Bestinver o Citi They detail in communications sent to clients, to which EL MUNDO has had access, that this market intervention has a tough parliamentary procedure ahead of it and they doubt whether a minority government will be able to carry out the measure, more taking into account that it will foreseeably count on the opposition of Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), one of its main partners in the Cortes.

In any case, several analysts have already lowered their valuation of these companies due to the “uncertainty” of a change of this magnitude in the companies’ revenues. “We continue to believe that parliamentary approval of such a populist measure is likely, although it is not guaranteed, since it is a minority government,” he says. JP Morgan.

The creation of the new mechanism puts the focus once again on the timetable for the closure of nuclear power plants in Spain. In January 2019, the owners of the facilities and the Government reached an agreement to set a staggered shutdown period between 2027 and 2035. The plan gave the companies regulatory stability to adapt their business model to the ecological transition and allow the Government to maintain a stable and cheap source of generation while renewables increased their presence in the market.

Both parties were satisfied with the pact. However, the power companies have since continued to warn that their nuclear plants are not profitable due to the high number of taxes and fees they pay for their waste. Jos BogasCEO of Endesa, the company hardest hit by the cut in the ‘CO2 dividend’, has pointed out on numerous occasions that the agreement is not set in stone and is subject to review if market conditions change. And, with this measure, the conditions change a lot if the cut reaches the 1,000 million euros planned by the Government.

The companies avoid ruling for now on the new cut and make numbers to adjust the profitability of the facilities to the new scenario. Although their main executives are silent, Endesa and Iberdrola will have to make a pronouncement in the coming months as the extension of the life of the nuclear power plant in Asc. The power companies have already requested the extension until the years 2029 (reactor 1) and 2030 (reactor 2), as agreed with the Ministry of Ecological Transition, but sources close to the companies explain that when the new law is approved they will have to review their accounts and, if they do not come out, shuffle request their closure.

The vice president of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, He does not believe these threats and calculates that these plants have an enormous profitability as they are already amortized. “They know that it is an overprofit that is discounted in old plants, long amortized, with very low operating costs and therefore with a very high profitability, even after the reduction of CO2”, he said at a press conference at the end of the last meeting of the Council of Ministers.


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