AGL eyes alternatives as Vocus off the table

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 20 : 9-Aug-19

AGL Energy has posted a 2018-19 net profit of $905m, which is 42.8 per cent lower than previously. Its underlying profit after tax rose by 2.2 per cent to $1.04bn. AGL has forecast that its profit will be within the range of $780m and $860m in 2019-20, citing factor such as lower electricity prices, higher fuel costs and the impact of an outage at its Loy Yang A generator in Victoria. Meanwhile, CEO Brett Redman says AGL remains open to expanding into the data services sector, despite abandoning a bid for Vocus Group earlier in 2019.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, VOCUS GROUP LIMITED – ASX VOC, PERTH ENERGY PTY LTD, VERTIUM ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

AGL under pump to hasten coal closures

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 27 : 18-Jul-19

Market Forces will press for AGL Energy to close its Loy Yang A and Bayswater coal-fired power stations ahead of schedule. The environmental activist group will put a resolution to AGL’s annual meeting in September, calling for both plants to be shut down in 2030. Will van de Pol of Market Forces says AGL’s plans to keep the plants operating well beyond this date are at odds with its stated support for the Paris climate agreement. Loy Yang A is slated to close in 2048, and Bayswater is due to be shut down in 2035.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, MARKET FORCES, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, INVESTOR GROUP ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Hydro project wins $610m federal loan

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 12-Jul-19

Genex Power will receive a $610m loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for its proposed pumped hydro project in Queensland. NAIF CEO Laurie Walker notes that the project will provide northern Queensland with an additional 250 megawatts of power, with EnergyAustralia in the process of concluding a deal to receive electricity from the project. The concessional loan is the largest allocation made by the $5 billion NAIF to date.

CORPORATES
GENEX POWER LIMITED – ASX GNX, NORTHERN AUSTRALIA INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITY, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, J-POWER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF ENERGY AND WATER SUPPLY

Consumers flick the switch to lower bills

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 2 : 28-Jun-19

One in four Australians have changed their electricity provider in the last year, according to the Australian Energy Market Commission. Electricity retailers AGL Energy, EnergyAustralia and Origin Energy no longer hold the biggest market share in South Australia and south-east Queensland, while the average median household bill ‘offer’ declined by between two and four per cent in New South Wales in the year to March, seven per cent across south-east Queensland, and up to four per cent in Victoria.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET COMMISSION, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD

AGL under pressure to explain Vocus takeover

Original article by Lucas Baird, Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 22 : 12-Jun-19

Vocus Group has agreed to allow AGL Energy to commence due diligence after offering $4.85 per share for the telco. AGL investors have responded bearishly to the $3bn bid, with its share price falling 7.2 per cent to $19.40 on 11 June. Sentiment toward AGL was also affected by an earnings downgrade on 7 June, before the stock market closed for a long weekend. Justin Braitling of Watermark Funds Management and James Nevin of RBC Capital Markets have questioned whether Vocus is an appropriate target for AGL.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, VOCUS GROUP LIMITED – ASX VOC, WATERMARK FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, EQT INFRASTRUCTURE, M2 GROUP LIMITED

Renewables power ahead

Original article by Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 29-Mar-19

According to Green Energy Markets, renewable energy generated 128 per cent more electricity than gas turbines over the 2018-19 summer and 23 per cent more than brown-coal generators. It was the fourth summer during which renewables have provided more electricity than gas and the second summer that renewables generated more electricity than brown coal. The output from solar between 9am and 5pm exceeded output from brown coal and gas for the first time.

CORPORATES
GREEN ENERGY MARKETS PTY LTD

Gen-tailer’s 24pc profit lift too high: Taylor

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 26-Feb-19

EnergyAustralia has posted a 2018 net profit of $566m, which is 24 per cent higher than previously. The result was boosted by higher wholesale electricity prices, while parent company CLP Group says EnergyAustralia’s return on invested capital rose to 10.7 per cent, compared with just 3.3 per cent in 2014. Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor has responded to strong earnings growth in the electricity sector by again urging generator-retailers to provide price relief for customers.

CORPORATES
ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, CLP GROUP, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL

Taylor blasts AGL’s high prices

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 8-Feb-19

Energy Minister Angus Taylor contends that Australians should be irate by AGL’s announcement that it has made a $537 million interim net profit. He claims that AGL and other energy companies are making big profits at a time when consumers and businesses are struggling with high power prices. Taylor has also stated that comments by energy companies that the federal government’s "big stick" legislation is deterring investment is false, noting that investment in the sector will exceed $25 billion over the three years to 2020.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

Households may have to pay more to ease power crunches

Original article by Ben Potter, Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 29-Jan-19

The Grattan Institute’s energy program director Tony Wood has cautioned against an overreaction to the recent rolling power blackouts that impacted South Australia and Victoria. Charging consumers more to use air conditioners during extreme heat has been put forward as one solution to the problem of matching demand with supply during such weather conditions, as has simplifying the regulatory test for new transmission links.

CORPORATES
GRATTAN INSTITUTE, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, TRANSGRID, SPARK INFRASTRUCTURE GROUP – ASX SKI, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, SCHNEIDER AUSTRALIA

Heat stress: power crisis hits home

Original article by Perry Williams, Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 25-Jan-19

The Australian Energy Market Operator asked power users in Victoria and South Australia to cut their electricity usage on 24 January as the electricity grid struggled to cope with soaring temperatures. Households were urged not to use appliances such as washing machines during peak periods, while Alcoa was asked to cut production at its aluminium smelter in Victoria for around two hours in the evening. Around 20,000 households in Adelaide were hit by blackouts, although no blackouts are expected on 25 January, with a cool change due for both states.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, ALCOA OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD