(Adds comment by EAC chairman in sixth paragraph)
By Stelios Orphanides
State-owned power company EAC said it generated a €62.4m profit last year, compared to €42m in 2014, mainly on cheaper fuel.
Overall revenue last year dropped to €630.5m, from €776.3m in 2014, while expenditure fell to €552.6m, from €716.6m, EAC said in an emailed statement on Friday.
Revenue from the sale of electricity fell €144.3m last year to €576.8m, compared to 2014. The cost of fuel dropped more than one-third, or €158.4m, to €288.6m.
Salaries and employer contributions rose an annual 5.2 per cent, or €4.7m to €89.7m, in 2015, the electricity company said.
Total electricity sales rose an annual 3.1 per cent in 2015, to 4,036,082 MWh, mainly on a 4.9 per cent and 1.8 per cent increase in consumer and commercial consumption — 1,475,972 Mwh and 1,659,588 Mwh respectively, EAC said. Industrial consumption rose 4.5 per cent, to 685,864 Mwh, while farming and street lighting reduced their power consumption by 4.6 per cent and 0.1 per cent, to 129,447 Mwh and 85,211 Mwh respectively.
The ultimate goal of the EAC, which the government removed from its privatisation list in 2015 and is scheduled to start its operational separation in to two units in December, “is to achieve separate and independent decision-making” for both its regulated and non-regulated activities, its chairman Andreas Marangos said.
The EAC, as a single, vertically integrated, public sector organization, will transfer its generation and supply operations to one unit, and transmission and distribution to the other, Marangos, a lawyer appointed by the cabinet in July, said.
“The plan for compliance with the regulatory decisions has received the initial approval of CERA (Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority), while in a recent decision, the council of ministers, having praised the EAC’s efforts aimed at an efficient and productive operation, asked us to continue and complete this important project as soon as possible,” he said.
Workers “have embraced this effort and are working in a coordinated manner to a very tight schedule, with the objective of implementing all the actions,” Marangos said.
EAC staff repeatedly threatened to strike against the government’s plan to split it in two, out of fear this would lead to the company’s privatisation. The government assured unions it was not considering privatising the company.
Marangos’s comments came less than three months after the administrative court ruled that CERA had no right to freeze the review of applications filed by private power producers.
CERA’s decision to freeze the review of applications violated its obligation of exercising its competences, the court said in September.