VILNIUS. Continuing the implementation of its strategic projects on synchronisation and the integration of the gas market with Europe, the state-owned energy transmission and exchange group EPSO-G earned EUR 83.8 million in revenue in the first three months of 2021. This represents an increase of 20.8 % compared to EUR 69.4 million in the same period last year.
The Group’s net profit amounted to EUR 19.3 million, compared to EUR 11.9 million in January–March 2020. EPSO-G Group’s energy transmission activities are regulated and generated excess profit is returned to domestic consumers of the country. Part of the excess profit is being returned this year at a more than a tenth lower transmission tariff.
“The positive dynamics of the first-quarter results were mainly driven by a significant increase in demand for electricity and gas transmission services during the cold period of the year, especially in the heat and power generation and industrial sectors. Energy consumption was also boosted by the country’s positive economic trends, with the amount of electricity transmitted in the first quarter surpassing the pre-COVID-19 pandemic level. The financial results we have achieved provide us with a solid foundation for the country’s energy independence and for the implementation of projects that are important for the integration of the transmission grids with the European networks,” CEO of EPSO-G Rolandas Zukas commented on the results of EPSO-G’s performance in the first quarter.
Demand and quality of services
In the first quarter of 2021, 2.9 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity were transmitted through the country’s high-voltage transmission networks to meet the needs of the country’s residents and businesses. This amount is 9.5 % higher in comparison with the same period last year. Transmission network users were also provided with more system services. The volume of these services increased by 7.1 % over the comparative period. The volume of balancing services was 40% higher due to an increase in the total amount of electricity transmitted, as well as higher-than-forecasted fluctuations due to below-average long-term weather temperatures between January and March.
During this period, 8.7 TWh of natural gas was transported to the Lithuanian consumers either by transmitting it to the gas distribution systems or directly to the systems of consumers. This represents an increase of 28.4% compared to 6.8 TWh in January–March 2020. The increase in demand for gas transportation services is mainly influenced by the increase in demand for natural gas transportation services in the heat and power sector during the cold season.
Electricity and gas transmission systems were operating soundly. The average interruption time (AIT) for interruptions attributable to the responsibility of the electricity transmission operator was 0.035 minutes, compared to 0.111 minutes in the same period last year, and the energy not supplied (ENS) indicator was 1.104 MWh (3.303 MWh in Q1 2020). Targets established for the Operator foresee an AIT indicator amounting to no more than 0.29 minutes and an ENS of 6,300 MWh in 2021. The reliability of the gas transmission system in the first three months of the year was 100%.
The three-month common availability of the NordBalt and LitPol Link interconnectors with Sweden and Poland in 2021 was 100% and 92.8% respectively in 2020. During the same period, NordBalt’s overall availability in 2020 was also 100% and LitPol Link’s 97.2%. “LitPol Link’s 2021 availability indicator is mainly affected by three disconnections on the Polish side of the link in March.
In the first quarter of 2021, GET Baltic’s natural gas exchange trading volume increased by 30% to 3.00 TWh from 2.31 TWh compared to the same period in 2020. This was mainly due to an increase in cross-border trade.
“During this period, district heating companies, Lithuanian independent heat producers and industrial companies purchased 1.13 TWh of biofuel on the Baltpool Energy Exchange. This is a 16.8% increase compared to the same period in 2020.
Revenue and costs
In the first three months of 2021, the EPSO-G Group’s consolidated revenues from electricity transmission and related services increased by 15.8% to EUR 61.8 million compared to the same period last year. This sum amounted to 74% of the EPSO-G Group’s total revenue. Although the average actual transmission price was 10.6% lower in the first quarter of the year, transmission revenues fell by only 2.2% to EUR 21.5 million. Revenue from system services increased by 8.5% up to EUR 24.9 million.
Revenues from the gas transmission and related services increased by 41.6% to EUR 18.6 million in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2020. In the same period last year, revenues from gas transmission services amounted to EUR 13.1 million.
EPSO-G’s operating costs for the three months to 2021 amounted to EUR 61.9 million. Compared to the first quarter of 2020, costs increased by EUR 5.7 million. This was mainly due to the cost of electricity, natural gas and related services, which accounted for 60.6% of total costs.
In the first three months of 2021, the EPSO-G Group’s operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to EUR 30.9 million from EUR 21.4 million in the same period last year. The EBITDA margin increased to 36.9% from 30.8% in the same period last year.