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Enel to unveil coal closure plan on November 24

Highlights

Capacity under 10 GW for first time in company history

Two Italy plants on essential supply list

Forward Italy sales for 2021, 2022 at Eur51.70/MWh

Barcelona — Italy's Enel plans to present a closure plan for its coal fleet later this month after the company successfully drew down total installed capacity to below 10 GW for the first time in its history, Chief Financial Officer Alberto de Paoli said Nov. 5.

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The company will present details on closures that mostly affect Italy and South America at the presentation of its new strategic plan Nov. 24, de Paoli said.

For context: Enel lines up three Italian coal closures for early 2021

The company successfully reduced worldwide installed coal capacity 39% year on year to 9.6 GW by the third quarter following a plant sale in Russia and a series of shutdowns in Spain, where it operates through its Endesa subsidiary.

This left Enel with 6.2 GW in Italy, 2.3 GW in Spain and 664 MW in Latin America at the end of the third quarter.

The company has already said it intends to close the remainder of its Spanish fleet by 2021 and has advanced plans in place to close 3.3 GW of the Italian fleet, although the future of the remaining capacity is compromised since two of its plants -- 2.44 GW Brindisi Sud and 432 MW Sulcis in Sardinia -- are considered essential plants for grid security.

In Latin America, the company closed its 158 MW Tarapaca plant at the start of this year and intends to close Bocamina 1 (128 MW) in 2023 but Bocamina 2 (350 MW) would remain in operation until 2040.

The company still owns one unit in Colombia, the 225 MW Termozipa plant operated by Emgesa, for which no closure plan has been announced to date.

Renewable capacity

The company's new plan is likely to include a boost to capital expenditure, particularly for renewables, which the company will use to replace the retired capacity.

Enel added 4.1 GW of renewable capacity in the last 12 months, including 1.7 GW in 2020 to date, with a target to hit 3.2 GW by year-end, according to de Paoli, with 800 MW slipping from 2020 into H1 2021 due to pandemic-related delays.

Related story: Enel advances Chile's first green hydrogen project

The company's pipeline stands at 110 GW with 50 GW of that in advanced stages. The technological distribution of that 50 GW is 52% wind and 47% PV, with 30% of the capacity in Europe and 37% in Latin America, he said.

In its domestic Italian market, Enel said it has forward sold 85% of its 2021 generation at an average wholesale price of Eur51.70/MWh, lifting the amount from 70% sold at the end of June.

For 2022, it has also forward sold 26% at the same price, de Paoli said.

This compared to a 2020 average wholesale price, with 100% placed, of Eur56.90/MWh.

The company has seen a shift in the demand profile of its Italian free market volumes in the first nine months of the year, with total volume dropping 5% year on year to 47.6 TWh.

Of this, sales in the B2B segment dropped 9% to 34.8 TWh while sales in the B2C segment increased 7% year on year to 12.8 TWh.

Related podcast: Energy Transition in the time of COVID-19