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Albioma reports ‘stable’ 2020 results, shares biomass project plans

Albioma has reported ‘stable’ revenue for 2020 and shared its latest biomass development plans.

The firm’s net income was up slightly in 2020 by 25%. Revenue amounted to €506.7 million, stable compared to the previous year. Stripping out the impact of changes in fuel prices (-€13 million) and the currency effect related to the decline of the Brazilian real (-€7.1 million), revenue was up by 4%.

Despite the pandemic, and excluding the shutdown of ALM 3 due to conversion work, the availability of thermal power plants in France reached 91.7% in 2020, compared to 88.2% in 2019.

Frédéric Moyne, chairman and CEO of Albioma, said: “In 2020, we generated very strong results, with EBITDA up 13% and net income, group share posting a sharp rise of 25%. These results are thanks to the hard work of Albioma’s teams, who I would like to thank and congratulate for their commitment throughout the health crisis.

“During the year, and despite the difficult context, we also finalised the biomass conversion project of our ALM3 plant in Guadaloupe and commissioned our fourth bagasse plant in Brazil according to schedule.

“Lastly, we signed various projects in line with our strategy which will contribute significantly to growth over the coming years: conversion and extension of the contract for the Bois-Rouge power plant (completely discontinuing coal) in Reunion Island, winning 40 MWp in solar power, and first steps in geothermal energy.

“All of these measures make us confident in our ability to meet the new objectives that the group has set for 2025 and 2030, respectively over 90% and nearly 100% renewable energy in our energy mix.”

France

Total electricity production from the thermal biomass plants in Overseas France was down slightly to 1,940 GWh compared with 2,061 GWh in 2019. Excluding ALM3, production was stable compared with 2019.

Unit 3 of the Le Moule biomass plant in Guadeloupe restarted on 23 November after work was carried out to convert the facility to 100% biomass. The project took longer than planned, due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The conversion will allow emissions to be reduced by more than 265,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (a net reduction of around 87% compared to coal) and will increase the renewable portion of Guadeloupe’s energy mix from 20% to 25%. Since its commissioning, 13 GWh was produced at the end of the year, exclusively from biomass.

Albioma Bois-Rouge power plant

On 3 December, the CRE approved the compensation from the signing of a rider to the power purchase agreement signed by EDF for the biomass conversion of the Bois-Rouge plant on Reunion Island.

Conversion work will begin this year so that the plant can run exclusively on biomass before the second half of 2023. Priority will be given to locally-available biomass resources (bagasse, forest wood, logging waste, etc.) alongside imported, traceable (in accordance with EU timber regulation) and sustainable (FSC and PEFC certification required) biomass, in the form of wood pellets.

Eventually, the conversion will increase the renewable portion of Reunion Island’s energy mix from 35% to 51% and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 640,000 of CO2 equivalent annually – an 84% decrease of direct emissions compared with the current operation of the plant.

Brazil

Albioma’s thermal biomass power production was down to 373 GWh after reaching 391 in 2019. EBITDA reached €12 million in 2020 compared with €10.7 million in 2019, thanks to a positive price effect and non-recurring financial income of €2.4 million due to the approval of the judicial recovery plan of its sugar partner adjacent to the Rio Pardo facility, and despite a sharp decline in the Brazilian real.

Commissioning of Albioma’s fourth 100% bagasse power plant

On 25 December, the 100% bagasse Vale do Paraná plant was commissioned. The biomass-fuelled cogeneration unit in São Paulo State is the company’s fourth plant located in Brazil. The new plant is covered by a long-term, inflation-indexed sales agreement that secures electricity sales of 120 GWh until 2046.

This is the first Brazilian project for which the group handled the construction and network connection works as well as the subsequent operation joint venture between Albioma and the Vale do Paraná sugar mill. With an installed capacity of 48 MW, the new plant will be able to export up to 30 MW of renewable electricity to the grid.




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