Etrion sees net loss plummet, accelerated RE growth in Chile plays a role

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Switzerland-based Etrion has seen its net losses in both the last quarter, and the first nine months of this year, plummet, from US$1.2 million and $-8.4 million in 2014, respectively, to $-4.4 million and $-16.9 million in 2015.

At $15.9 million and $43.4 million in Q3 and between Q1 and Q3, respectively, revenues remained pretty much in line with last year, which recorded $17.1 million and $43.3 million. EBITDA was more adversely affected, dropping from $13.2 million in Q3 2014 to $10 million this quarter, and from $31.2 million last year to $24.8 million in 2015.

"We reported slightly lower revenue and EBITDA than last year due to lower prices in Italy, the lower EUR/USD exchange rate and extraordinary impairment charges, but we look forward to adding fully-funded solar projects in Japan over the next 12 months," explained CEO Marco A. Northland.

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Specifically, the impairment charges relate to $0.4 million in Q3 on the back of charges regarding projects in Japan that Etrion is no longer pursuing; and $2.5 million from the postponement of its Chilean solar plans.

To date, the company has completed one solar PV plant in Chile, worth 70 MW. It has a further four projects totaling 99 MW at the shovel ready stage. However, it says its growth prospects have been "adversely impacted by the decrease in electricity demand as a result of reduced investments in the mining sector and the accelerated growth in electricity supply from renewable sources."

This, says Etrion, has seen both spot market prices, and demand for long-term power contracts from industrial clients, decline. It has postponed its plans until long-term PPAs are available.

Due to the attractive FITS and low financing options, Etrion is focusing its Asian efforts on the Japanese market for the time being. It currently has 24 MW under construction there, in addition to the 9.3 MW already installed. Meanwhile, under an agreement signed with HHT in 2012, 100 MW of utility-scale projects are expected to be either under construction or shovel ready by Q1 2016.

To date, Etrion has an installed gross capacity of 139 MW in Italy, Chile and Japan.