State-owned Romanian utility CE Oltenia plans to buy 7.85 million carbon units over the first quarter to cover its 2015 EU ETS compliance obligation, the company said in a statement.
The company bought 1.6 million carbon units in December worth around €12.5 million for an average price of €7.94 each, said the statement, dated Jan. 5.
It needs the remaining units to cover the CO2 output from producing 14.85TWh of electricity from its lignite-fired stations.
CE Oltenia’s annual requirements are much lower that Europe’s biggest utilities. Last year, RWE, Vattenfall and Enel faced a carbon unit deficit of 139 million, 87 million and 67 milllion units respectively to cover their 2014 output, according to Carbon Market Data.
But ex-post carbon purchases are rare among EU utilities, many of which buy carbon up to three years in advance and very gradually to lock in profit from selling electricity forwards.
The move could work in CE Oltenia’s favour this year. After posting steady gains throughout 2015, benchmark EU carbon prices have fallen sharply in the first four trading days of 2016, falling by as much as 11% from their 2015 close of €8.29.
Oltenia last year held a tender in Q1 to buy nearly 5 million EUAs to help it meet its 2014 compliance needs.
All EU ETS regulated companies must by the end of April surrender enough carbon allowances or offsets to cover their emissions from the previous year.
CE Oltenia was founded in 2012 with the merger of lignite mining company SNLO and power plants Turceni, Rovinari and Craiova. It operates 13 power plants with a total capacity of 3,900 MW.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org