The year 2013 represented a significant evolution for Acea within the framework of integrated water service. The Italian Regulatory Authority for electricity, gas and water system – Autorità per l’energia elettrica, il gas ed il sistema idrico (AEEGSI), after acquiring, last year, regulatory and control functions of water services, carried out several interventions, outlining the new regulatory structure of the sector: from the approval of the new tariff scheme to the definition of the amount to be refunded to users, consequently to the abrogative referendum related to tariff remuneration of capital invested by operators; from surveys on water service assessment, aimed at identifying the minimum quality and efficiency levels of water services, to proceedings, in favour of water companies, useful in finding out all the methods needed to identify the obligations in case of users’ arrearage. Such interventions lay a new trend sector, regulated on the basis of efficiency and quality criteria, with the scope of propelling, for the water system, the same system progressions obtained in the electricity sector.
Within the corporate context, Acea, in prospect of a smart utility, steadfastly achieved relevant projects of technological innovation, cooperating with important industrial entities and obtaining significant results. Within this framework an agreement with the company NEC, operating in the technological innovation sector, has been undersigned for the implementation of energy storage systems, with the purpose of improving quality in distribution services and managing efficiency in distributed power-generating plants; in addition, a protocol with Telecom Italia and Fastweb has been agreed upon to enlarge, through Acea Distribuzione network plants, optical fiber employed for ultra-wideband internet services.
The improvement of the operating efficiency of the Group’s business resulted in positive profit industrial performance. Such commitments had favourable feedback into the financial market, which drew corporate bonds for 600 million euros, used by Acea for the Group capital and financial strengthening.
The 2012-2016 Acea Stretegic Plan, currently in force12 , is rooted on five strategic lines: consolidation of its position in regulated activities within the water and energy sector; development of projects and strengthening of environmental operations for waste management in waste to energy, waste treatment and composting fields; commitment to achieve ongoing energy-efficiency improvements and attention towards new managing tecnologies for networks (smart grid); business profitability increases and creation of a sustainable plan of dividends aimed at generating value for the shareholders; despite the already existing relevant plan of investments, improvement of debit position is envisaged through reduction of outstanding loans.
Such strategic lines found their implementation in economic commitments and goals according to every single business area14.
13 On 10th March 2014, the BoD approved the new 2014-2018 Business Plan, available on the website – www.acea.it -, section Shareholders, 2014 Presentations.
14 The Business Plan is available on the website, section Shareholders, 2012 Presentations.
STRATEGIC LINES OF ACEA 2012-2016 BUSINESS PLAN
BUSINESS DEVELOPING LINES IN 2013
- Aquaser purchases S.A.MA.CE. located in Sabaudia (LT), owning an organic waste and sludge composting plant and liquid waste treatment plant, therefore covering with Kyklos (100% Aquaser) the entire province of Latina, already operative in the same territory.
- The waste-to-energy plant (pulper from paper mill) in Terni is rebooted, generating 58 GWh/year;
- within SAO a division operating for the anaerobic treatment of waste organic matrix converting the resulting biogas into energy is initiated. Kyklos receives the permit to create a new division of anaerobic digestion, recovering the biogas emitted into energy and heat;
- the two lines of the plant located in San Vittore del Lazio treated 224,220 tons of RDF obtaining a gross production of electricity equal to around 203 GWh;
- operations of hydroelectric plants register, after the repowering, positive performances both in terms of generated energy and related certificates (green certificates);
- energy generated from renewable sources covers 81% of total production (634 GWh of 786 GWh);
- energy generated from waste to energy (RDF and pulper) is approximately 260 GWh (46% from renewable source).
customers having a contract with Acea Energia in the free market of electricity and gas, reach around 400,000 units (withdrawal points);
development of initiatives aimed at promoting the use of company remote contact channels for electricity consumers, with a positive feedback: customers registered to Acea Energia online help desk at the end of the year are about 100,000 (+230% against 2012). The new bill for the free market customers is launched, with the scope of promoting better knowledge of the service provided and a better relationship with the company.
WATER ITALY AND ABROAD
no acquisitions nor shareholders have been registered within the water sector but a full commitment for the consolidation of the existing operational activities remain in place. Companies absorb the contents of new regulatory interventions provided by AEEGSI. The contract for foreign operational activities attributable to the company Aguazul Bogotà expires.
- activities linked to technological innovation of network management (smart grid) continue, implementing the agreements undersigned with important industrial entities (Nec, Telecom, Fastweb) extending Acea business area to energy storage systems and ultrawideband internet in the Roman territory;
COGENERATION (COMBINED HEAT AND POWER GENERATION)
- processing of the 2014-2018 Strategic Plan has started in which renovation and maintenance interventions towards all energy infrastructures are envisaged (primary and secondary substations, power lines and high, medium and low voltage grids) with the purpose of improving transmission capacity, losses and reduction in voltage.
- building operations for the realization of the new tri-generation plant for the business complex ”Europarco”, in Rome, begin and works for the tri-generation plant for the theme park “Cinecittà World”, in Castel Romano, have begun.
The overall new lighting units installed amount to 1,147 units, of which 443 use LED technology.