RusHydro’s hydropower plants increase electricity generation 4% in 1Q 2012
RusHydro Group (ticker symbol: MICEX-RTS, LSE: HYDR; OTCQX: RSHYY) announces its operating results for the 1st quarter 2012.
In October 2011, RusHydro acquired JSC RAO Energy Systems of East, a holding company comprising generating assets in the Far East of Russia with a total electricity generation capacity of 8,986 MW. Therefore, the total installed capacity of RusHydro Group as at April 1st, 2012, amounted to 35,178 MW.
In the 1st quarter 2012, the total electricity generation of RusHydro and its subsidiaries amounted to 27,800 Gwh, a 6% increase as compared to the same period of 2011. The total generation (mostly hydro) excluding contribution RAO ES of East rose 4% year-on-year to 17,619 GWh.
The underlying factors of the growth in production are:
- launch of a fifth 640 MW brand new hydro-unit at Sayano-Shushenskaya in December 2011;
- rigorous policy of water levels optimization;
- 5% increase in generation in the Center of Russia, primarily the hydropower plants of Volga-Kama on the back of better hydrological conditions;
- 12% increase in generation volumes by Far East Generation Company in 1Q 2012 vs 1Q 2011, the largest asset of the RAO ES of the East holding, due to growth in electricity consumption of transportation infrastructure.
Electricity generation in 1Q 2011/2012, GWh
Center of Russia
In recent years, reservoirs of hydropower plants in the Volga-Kama cascade experience higher than average inflows of water. The inflow in the 1st quarter 2012 was 18% higher than long-run average. As of the 1st quarter water resources in the cascade's reservoirs were 17% lower than long-run average. As a result, despite the fact that hydropower plants in the lower Volga were operating in March with decreased water discharges (the lowest level in history), the total hydro generation in the European Russian amounted to 7,625 GWh, a 5% increase vs. 2011, due to higher discharges in January-February.
As at the end of the 1st quarter the total accumulation of water in snowpacks in the cascade's basin was 109% of long-run average.
In the 1st quarter, water inflow to Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant reservoir was 10% higher than long-run average. The over-the-balance production by Sayano-Shushenskaya (the balance set by the Federal Tariff Service of Russia) was 728 GWh.
Water inflow to Novosibirsky reservoir was 25% lower than long-run average. Despite poor water conditions in 2011 that resulted in low reservoir level, Novosibirskaya hydropower plant was operating in the regime of reservoir drawdown to supply the city of Novosibirsk with water. As of the end of the 1st quarter, the water level of reservoir was 1.66 m lower than last year and 1.18 m lower than dead storage level (i.e. the minimal level of reservoir under normal conditions).
In total, RusHydro's Siberian hydropower plants increased electricity generation by 8% to 5,608 GWh. In the 1st quarter 2012, Sayano-Shushenskaya has been operating with 5 hydro-units of 640 MW each vs. 4 units in the 1st quarter last year.
South and North Caucasus
Water inflow in the 1st quarter 2011 was low for most rivers in the region. Water inflow to Krasnodar reservoir was 45% lower than long-run average, to Dzaudzhikauskaya hydropower plant on Terek - 25% lower. Inflow to Chirkeyskaya hydropower plant was close to average in the 1st quarter.
The total hydropower generation in the region was 1,054 GWh, a 1% increase compared to 2011.
Zeyskaya and Bureyskaya hydropower plants due to low water inflows in 2011 and ensuing low reservoir levels (24% lower than long-run average) have been operating under the regime of reservoir drawdown. By the end of the 1st quarter the water levels of Zeyskaya and Bureyskaya was 2.3 m and 1.9 m, respectively, lower than last year.
Over-the-balance electricity generation of Bureyskaya was 164 GWh and was a result of additional electricity supply for export, as well as lower production by thermal generators.
The total electricity generated by hydro and geothermal power plants in the Far East in the 1st quarter decreased by 2% to 3,277 GWh.
The generating assets of RAO ES of the East holding produced 10,181.3 GWh, a 9.1% increase as compared to the 1st quarter 2012.
Of this total 7,528.7 GWh, or 72%, was generated by Far East Generating Company, which boosted production by 11.7% as compared to last year. The growth was due to increase in electricity consumption from transport infrastructure in the Unified energy system of the Far East and decrease in hydro production.
Generation by isolated vertically-integrated subholdings in the Far East was 2,652.5 GWh, a 2.4% increase vs. the 1st quarter of 2011.
Heat output by thermal plants of RAO ES of the East rose 8.5% to 14,076.5 GCal.
Electricity generation by Sevan-Hrazdan cascade power plants was 54 GWh, a 25% decrease compared to 2011. The power generation of these power plants is dependent on water inflows of Hrazdan river and water releases from lake Sevan.
As of the mid-April higher temperatures and rains led to active development of spring flood on almost all rivers of the basin of Volga and Kama. The reservoirs of Volga-Kama are ready for accumulation of water. The free reservoir capacity exceeds the long-run average by 14%. As of 10 April, water accumulation in snow packs of Volga-Kama cascade was 100% of norm. Water reserves in reservoirs of Volga-Kama exceed the level of 2011 by 32%, but lower than long-run average by 18%.
According to the forecast of Hydrometeorological Centre of Russia the water inflow in Sayano-Shushenskoe reservoir is expected to be 13% higher than long-run average, in the 2nd quarter - by 22% lower than average. Water reserves in snow packs in the basin of Novosibirskaya hydropower plant are only 51% of long-run average. According to the forecast, the water inflow to Novosibirskaya is expected to be 29% lower than average.
All the hydropower plants of the Far East are still low on water reserves.
The spring flood in the south of Russia and North Caucasus is expected to be average as compared to recent years.
Taking into account the hydrological conditions and available forecasts RusHydro plans to maintain the electricity generation for the full 2012 at a level no lower than in 2011. At the same time the company intends to update its production guidance following the end of spring freshet.
As part of measures to create a system of forecasting the water resources availability RusHydro plans this year to develop a network of hydrometeorological stations at its generation facilities, create hydrometeorological posts in the basin of Sayano-Shushenskaya, devise a system of monitoring for Dagestan branch.
 Includes also 321 MW Maynskaya hydropower plant - a counter-regulator for Sayano-Shushenskaya.
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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