However, revenue from its 104 MW portfolio in Japan and Chile jumped 46.2% year on year to $15.2 million, according to its audited financial statements for the year to the end of December 2016.
Its sole 70 MW project in Chile generated about 159.4 GWh of electricity in 2016, while its operational 34 MW portfolio in Japan produced roughly 15.2 GWh over the same period.
“We are all about Japan. Great market, excellent opportunities and very attractive economics,” said Marco Northland, chief executive of the Geneva-based company, which is incorporated in Canada and listed on the stock exchanges in Toronto and Stockholm. “Our decision to double down in this market is paying off.”
The company, which has partnered with Hitachi High-Tech in Japan, sees the country as its most promising, lowest-risk market.
In December, it sold its 60 MW Italian solar portfolio to EF Solare Italia — a joint venture under Enel Green Power and Fondo Italiano per le Infrastrutture — for an initial cash consideration of €78.1 million.
It said it divested its Italian assets partly to free up cash to expand in Japan.
Etrion completely exited the Italian market with the transaction, which offered a gain of $61.3 million.
In December, it announced plans to repurchase €40 million of the principal amount of its outstanding corporate bonds, at 100% of par value in addition to accrued unpaid interest.
Its cash balance hit $61.2 million at the end of the year, largely because of the divestiture of its Italian assets.
In October, its 24.7 MW project in Shizukuishi — in northern Japan’s Iwate prefecture — started feeding electricity into the grid.
The company is now working on the second phase of a 9.5 MW project in Aomori prefecture. It connected the initial 5.3 MW phase to the grid in February 2017 and expects to finish building the second 4.2 MW by the third quarter of this year.
It recently reached financial close on two projects, with $61 million in project finance secured from Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank to back the construction of the 9.5 MW Aomori project.
Those funds will also be used to finance the development of a 13.2 MW array in Japan. The project in Komatsu, Ishikawa prefecture, will be operational by the third quarter of 2018.
In addition, it expects to be ready to start construction on a 40-50 MW installation in southern Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture by the third or fourth quarter of this year.
The company has 17.4 MW under construction at four locations in Japan, in addition to 200 MW of greenfield solar capacity it aims to build in the country.
It also owns a 70% stake in the operational 70 MW Project Salvador solar plant in northern Chile. The project has a PPA $0.10/kWh for the first 70 GWh of generation and a spot price forecast prepared by third-party consultants for the remaining capacity.