Total plans to buy a power plant from EDP and compete with Spanish power companies

Total prepares a powerful growth offensive in the Spanish electricity sector. The French oil company, which was once one of Cepsa's main shareholders, wants to grow in electricity and gas and for that is negotiating the possible purchase of the combined cycle plant that EDP It has in the Navarre town of Castejón.

The French company would have already visited the plant itself and would even have various confidentiality agreements to bring the operation to fruition, which would mean taking over a plant with more than 800 MW of power.

Total, accessed Monday by the EconomistHe declined to comment on this matter, which would involve the landing of the oil company in a business that is not its traditional area. However, the bet of the oil company in the Spanish market is not only there, since the Frenchwoman has just announced the signing of an agreement with Powertis for the long-term co-development and sale of energy, for a portfolio of up to 1,000 MW of photovoltaic projects in our country, whose estimated investment amounts to about 700 million euros. Specifically, the agreement involves the creation of a joint venture through which Total secures the right to purchase the projects developed by Powertis until February 2021, while the Spanish company will be responsible for their development.

Soltec, a company associated with Powertis, will be the developer's supplier for the equipment, installation and construction phases of the projects developed by this alliance, which will contribute to the reduction of some 750,000 tons of CO2.

Activity in Europe and LATAM

Powertis, which develops large-scale photovoltaic projects in Europe and Latin America, has a portfolio of projects, including identified opportunities, in different stages of development in Spain that exceed 950 MW of installed capacity.

Total recorded according to the CNMC data a total of 2,412 contract activations in its marketer during the first quarter of 2019 which placed them as one of the most active in that period, the last of which data is available. The oil company has operations in more than 130 countries and is an important actor in solar energy with Total Solar and SunPower.

The gala company has more than 98,000 employees and energy contracting consultants, operating both in gas and electricity in France, England, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands to offer solutions to its customers.

With extensive experience in energy trading in international markets for the commercialization of electricity and gas in different phases, Total intends to position itself among the first electricity traders in the Spanish market. At the end of 2016, the French added in Europe 600,000 points of electricity and gas supply in contracts between companies and more than 1,200,000 to small consumers.

Asset rotation

EDP, on the other hand, keeps an asset rotation plan open, which has already resulted in the sale of its hydroelectric plants in Portugal, which have ended up in the hands of France's Engie for 2,210 million euros, which represents a figure greater than the one announced in the strategic plan of the Portuguese company and which will be expected to close before June of this year.

The Castejón plant is located on the right bank of the Ebro river. Group 1 (Castejón 1) with a net power of 424.9 MW, started operations in September 2002, being the first combined cycle plant promoted by EDP and the third of these characteristics to enter into commercial operation. The second group (Castejón 3), with a net power of 418.5 MW, started its commercial activity in January 2008.

The combined cycle plant of Castejón uses natural gas as the main fuel to feed the gas turbine. Castejón 3 can, in addition, in case of interruption of the natural gas supply, use diesel as an alternative fuel.

This plant is designed to operate based on partial loads and also two shifts. The separate start-up of the gas turbine and the steam turbine by using a clutch reduces the starting times, the fuel consumption and, therefore, its cost, which also makes it a plant Very flexible for your operation.