RusHydro Increased Electricity Generation by 7% in 2011
RusHydro Group (ticker symbol: RTS, MICEX, LSE: HYDR; OTCQX: RSHYY) announces the operating results for the 4th quarter and full year of 2011.
The Group's total electricity generation in 2011 amounted to 77,007 GWh - an increase of 7% compared to 2010. In the 4th quarter of 2011, electricity generation grew by 8% to 16,410 GWh against the 4th quarter of 2010. Net output of electricity in 2011 increased by 7.1 % to 75,657 GWh. The main factors behind the generation growth were the reconstruction of 4 out of 10 hydro-units of the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant that had been damaged during the 2009 accident as well as rationalization of water use of reservoirs.
4Q and FY 2011 electricity generation (GWh)
* - the figures are not included in the total for 2011, as RusHydro acquired Sevan-Hrazdan cascade of hydropower plants in Armenia in March 2011
2011 was marked by subnormal water levels in European Russia and Far Eastern region. Initial forecasts made by the Hydrometeorological Center of Russia in early 2011 on increased water accumulation in snow packs didn't materialize; water inflows were lower or similar to average long-run. At the same time the rigorous policy of rationalization of water use let the power plants of the center of Russia that provide almost half of the Group's production maintain electricity generation at the level of 2010.
In recent years, the water inflow in winter months exceeds the average level. The water inflow in the 1st quarter of 2011 compared to previous years was low, but was 5% above long-term average. To implement water saving policy, the Lower Volga hydropower plants operated using water flows that were less as compared to long-term average.
By the end of the 1st quarter snowpacks in the basin of Volga-Kama cascade reached 141% of the long-term average. However, due to low frost penetration and dry soil in the basin, the water inflow in the 2nd quarter was 18% lower than long-term average. Hydrometeorological Center twice lowered its forecast of water inflow in the 2nd quarter. However, due to water saving policy replenishment of reservoirs by the end of 1st half of the year was 0.5 km3 higher than long-term average and 4.1 km3 higher than in the previous year. In the 3rd quarter in inflow was also 18% lower than long-term average. By the end of the 3rd quarter the replenishment of water reservoirs was 8.6 km3 higher than in the previous year, but 2.5 km3 lower than long-term average. In the 4th quarter the water inflow was 5% lower than long-term average. In total for 2011 the water inflow was 14% lower than in the previous year.
The total electricity generation in the European part of Russia in 2011 was 35,500 GWh, which is only 1% lower than in 2010. The growth of electricity generation in the 4th quarter was 15%.
The water inflow in Sayno-Shushenskoe reservoir was in the 1st half of 2011 was close to long-term average. In the 3rd quarter the water inflow was 12% lower than long-term average, in the 4th quarter - close to it.
In total, RusHydro's Siberian power plants increased electricity generation by 52% to 21,503 GWh. In the 4th quarter, the generation was up 5%, given the fact in the 4th quarter of 2010/2011 Sayano-Shushenskaya power plant operated the same number of restored turbines.
South and Northern Caucasus
Hydrological situation in North Caucasus and South Russia during 2011 was marked by decreased water inflow levels. Due to water saving policy all reservoirs have been replenished.
The lack of capacity in the North Caucasus, due to outage of Irganayskaya and Baksanskaya hydropower plants, enabled Chirkeyskaya hydropower plant to operate with higher load. In June and July, two hydraulic turbines of Irganayskaya were launched.
In 2011, power plants of the South of Russia and Northern Caucasus generated 6,802 GWh of electricity, 17% less than in 2010. Following the launch of Irganayskaya HPP and replenishment of reservoirs in the 4th quarter, the total electricity generation in the region in the last quarter exceeded the previous year's amount by 20%.
In the 1st quarter of 2011, RusHydro ensured a higher load of Zeyskaya and Bureyskaya hydropower plants to increase the capacity of reservoirs by the beginning of spring freshet.
The water inflow in 2-4 quarters was low. For the whole year, the water inflow was 24% lower than long-term average. The decrease of generation volume is also associated with the necessity to maintain low reservoir level of the Zeiskaya hydropower plant to avoid spilling extra water as dam reconstruction works are in progress. The over-the-balance generation by the hydropower plants of the Far East was ensured by additional export sales to China, as well as by lower load of thermal power plants. The additional generation in 2011 amounted to 900 GWh.
Sevan-Hrazdan cascade of seven hydropower plants in Armenia generated 651 GWh of electricity in 2011 - 10% less than in 2010. The power generation of these power plants is dependent on water inflows of Hrazdan river and water releases from lake Sevan.
The information in this press release may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial performance of RusHydro. You can identify forward looking statements by terms such as "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "will," "could," "may" or "might," the negative of such terms or other similar expressions. We wish to caution you that these statements are only predictions and that actual events or results may differ materially from these statements. We do not intend to update these statements to reflect events and circumstances occurring after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Many factors could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements, including, among others, general economic conditions, our competitive environment, risks associated with operating in Russia, rapid technological and market change in our industries, as well as many other risks specifically related to RusHydro and its operations.
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