EPV Energy Ltd (EPV) is a company specialised in energy procurement and it operates on an absorption costing principle. The aim is to supply the owners with competitive electricity and to ensure inexpensive power procurement in a changing operating environment. The company’s strategic objective is that the energy procurement should be both low-emission and competitive. The energy procurement is mainly transacted through the generation shares owned by the company and through its own production. In 2019, EPV acquired a total of 4,343 GWh (4,915) of electricity. This corresponds to 5.0 per cent (5.6) of the overall electricity consumption in Finland.

EVENTS DURING THE FINANCIAL YEAR

Operating environment

According to preliminary statistics, the consumption of electricity in the Nordic countries in 2019 was slightly lower than the previous year at 392 TWh (399). In 2019, Finnish electricity consumption was 86.1 TWh (87.5), which meant a decrease of approximately 1.5 per cent compared to 2018. The industrial share of the consumed electricity was 46 per cent and other consumption 54 per cent. Last year, industrial consumption decreased by 3.7 per cent, while consumption in other sectors grew by 0.3 per cent. The losses stood for approximately 3 per cent of the overall electricity consumption.

In 2019, 23.3 per cent of power procurement was covered by imports and 76.7 per cent by domestic generation. Combined generation of power and heat (CHP) covered approximately 25.6 per cent of the consumed electricity, nuclear power 26.6, hydropower 14.3, and coal and other condensing power 3.1 per cent. The share of wind power was 7.0 per cent. As a new form of power generation included in the statistics, the share of solar power was 0.2 per cent. Electricity imports increased in Sweden and decreased slightly in Russia compared to 2018. The net exports of electricity to Estonia increased, totalling 3.5 TWh. As a result of these changes, Finnish imports of electricity increased by 0.5 per cent compared to the previous year, amounting to 20.0 TWh.

The snow and water reserves, i.e. the hydrological balance, of the Nordic countries remained below the long-term average throughout 2019. The fluctuations relating to hydropower generation are clearly depicted in the fact that, over the year, the hydrological balance was 15 TWh below the long-term average at its lowest and around the average at its highest. At the beginning of the year, the reserves were 15 TWh below the average level and at the end of the year 3 TWh below the average level. By the turn of the year, Nordic water reserves were approximately 79 TWh in total.

In 2019, CO2 emissions from energy generation in Finland were 5.5 million tonnes, which is 23 per cent less than the previous year, making it the lowest figure ever. The decline in carbon dioxide emissions is mainly due to the separate production of electricity falling by half. Also, the share of biofuels in CHP has increased slightly. Up to 82 per cent of the electricity generated in Finland last year was free from CO2 emissions. The share of renewable energy sources was 47 per cent of the electricity generated, and domestic fuels covered 51 per cent.

Production

In 2019, 28.5 per cent of EPV’s electricity supply came from nuclear power, 25.8 per cent from combined heat and power (CHP), 20.3 per cent from hydropower and 17.4 per cent from wind power. The share of market price electricity was 8.0 per cent. The share of coal and other types of condensing power in EPV’s electricity supply has become zero.

In 2019, CO2 emissions from EPV’s electricity supply were 0.66 million tonnes, which is 34 per cent less than the previous year. Up to 82 per cent of the electricity generated by EPV and under EPV’s production share last year was free from CO2 emissions. The share of renewable energy sources was 47 per cent of the electricity generated, and domestic fuels covered 74 per cent.

The total production volume of the Olkiluoto 1 and 2 nuclear power plants of the associated company Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) in 2019 was 14,751 GWh (14,089), which is the second highest sum total in the company’s history. Olkiluoto unit 1 produced the highest volume in its history in 2019 and Olkiluoto unit 2 the 7th highest. The annual outage of the units went according to plan and the units experienced no significant disturbances to impede their production over the year. EPV’s direct interest in Teollisuuden Voima is 6.6 per cent, and 965 GWh (969) of energy was acquired in proportion to the share. The acquisition from 2018 also includes the share of condensing power production by the Meri-Pori coal power plant, ownership of which closed at the end of 2018.

According to the new schedule provided by TVO in December 2019 and announced by the plant supplier, the plant unit Olkiluoto 3 will be connected for the first time to the national grid in November 2020 and regular electricity generation will begin in March 2021.

EPV Windpower Ltd (100%) focuses on building wind farms and generating wind electricity in the coastal areas of Ostrobothnia and inland. The wind power stations in operation owned by EPV Windpower are located in Torkkola in Vaasa (16 turbines), Santavuori in Ilmajoki (17 turbines), Metsälä in Kristinestad (34 turbines) and Paskoonharju in Teuva (2 turbines). The company has made the investment decision to build wind farm Paskoonharju 2 (21 turbines) in Teuva. Additionally, EPV Windpower holds some legally valid building permits for new power stations. In 2019, EPV Windpower Ltd’s total electricity supply for EPV was 678 GWh (642).

The quantity of electricity supplied by the affiliated company Rapid Power Oy (50%) at its hydroelectric power station in Norway was lower than the long-term average. In 2019, the total electricity supply to EPV was 512 GWh (707).  Rapid Power Oy’s hydroelectric power production in Norway has been based on a 15-year leasing contract on the Rana hydroelectric power station. The leasing contract expired at the end of 2019.

The associated company Pohjolan Voima Oyj is a power procurement company which operates on an absorption costing principle, supplying electricity to its owners at cost price. EPV’s interest in Pohjolan Voima is 5.5 per cent (5.5) and a total of 434 GWh (476) of electricity was acquired accordingly.

The subsidiary Seinäjoen Voima Oy (100%) was founded on 24 January 2018 and it started business operations on 1 March 2018. In 2019, the total electricity supply of the company’s power plant in Seinäjoki amounted to 431 GWh (595). A total of 425 GWh (285) of district heating was generated. During the annual outage at the Seinäjoki power plant, in addition to the normal inspection and maintenance work, work was carried out in preparation to making changes to the power plant boiler’s overfire air ducting and the lime feed system in anticipation of future environmental requirements.

Electricity generation in 2019 at the Vaskiluoto 2 power plant belonging to the affiliated company Vaskiluodon Voima Oy (50%) was 679 GWh (1,010). A total of 422 GWh (421) of district heating was generated. On the basis of its interest, EPV acquired a total of 311 GWh (477) of electrical energy. The comparison does not include the figures for the Seinäjoki power plant for January and February 2018, as the plant was sold to Seinäjoen Voima Oy on 1 March 2018. In addition to the normal inspection and maintenance during the Vaasa power plant’s annual outage, work was carried out in preparation to making changes to the power plant boiler’s overfire air ducting in anticipation of the tightening emission caps on nitrogen oxides.

Voimapiha Oy (17%) generates hydropower electricity in Sweden. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary Voimapiha AB, Voimapiha Oy holds 25.7 per cent of Kraftgården Ab’s share capital. The hydropower plants owned by Kraftgården are located on the River Indalsälven, one of the most significant hydropower reserves in Sweden, and the company has approximately 161 MW of generation power, which corresponds to approximately 862 GWh of average annual output.  The quantity of electricity supplied by Voimapiha in 2019 was at the long-term average level. During its sixth complete year of operation, Voimapiha Oy supplied EPV with 283 GWh (229) of hydropower electricity generated in Sweden.  The real estate tax on hydropower plants has been gradually reduced in Sweden between 2017 and 2020. This has been a positive for Swedish hydroelectric power producers, as real estate tax is a significant cost item in the generation of hydropower.

A subsidiary of EPV (100%), Tornion Voima Oy generates electricity and heat in connection with the steelworks in Tornio. Of the energy generated at the plant, CHP is supplied to EPV, district heating and fabrication steam to the Tornio steelworks and district heating to Tornion Energia Oy. The total electricity supply for EPV was 172 GWh (167).

Raahen Voima Oy is EPV’s affiliated company (25%), which generates electricity and heat by the Raahe steelworks. Of the energy generated at the plant, CHP is supplied to EPV, electricity, district heat and process steam to Raahe steelworks and district heat to Raahen Energia Oy. The company’s operations are now well established and have lived up to expectations. In 2019, its total electricity supply for EPV was 129 GWh (160), which is the lowest output in the company’s recent history.

The year of generation for the Puuska wind farm of Rajakiiri Oy (65.1%), located in Tornio, was the highest in the company’s history and slightly higher than the previous year. The total electricity generation of the company was 126 GWh (126), of which 78 GWh (79) were supplied to EPV.

Suomen Merituuli Oy is an associated company whose objective is to build future offshore wind power plants in the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Bothnia. The company has development projects for offshore wind power in the Ingå and Kristinestad areas.  EPV’s interest in the company is 50 per cent.

Vaasan Voima Oy (100%) was founded in 2019. The company is currently building an underground energy reserve in Vaskiluoto, Vaasa with a charge and discharge capacity of approximately 100 megawatts and a storage capacity of 7,000–9,000 megawatt hours. The investment project’s cost estimate is approximately 5 million euros and it will be completed in the spring of 2020. The planned heat storage facility in Vaskiluoto will balance the peak loads of district heating and, in the long run, allow for wider and more flexible use of wind and solar power, as well as making use of waste heat created in the Vaasa region. 

Regional grid company

As a result of centralising EPV’s electricity transmission activities, the power lines, power stations and other network property owned by EPV were transferred as a net capital contribution to EPV Tuotantoverkot Oy on 1 January 2019. At the same time, EPV Alueverkko Oy merged with EPV Tuotantoverkko on 1 January 2019. EPV Tuotantoverkot Oy continued its business activities under the name EPV Alueverkko Oy. The subsidiary EPV Alueverkko Oy (100%) practices electricity transmission and network operations mainly in the power transmission network it owns in Ostrobothnia, South Ostrobothnia, Tornio, Kokkola and Iijoki. The amount of energy transmitted for consumption via EPA’s transmission network in 2019 was 5,391 GWh (7,206). The decline in the volume of electrical energy supplied is the result of the significant electricity transmission connection between Sellee and Röyttä being removed outside EPA’s transmission activities from the start of February 2019. The company’s network received 2,913 GWh (3,274) of electrical energy from generation plants to be transferred for consumption and the main grid. Several new network projects were completed during the year, and two new customers were connected to the network. The above transmission quantities for 2018 have been made comparable.

The completed financial year was the final year of the Energy Market Authority’s fourth regulatory period for network operations (2016–2019). The past year’s permitted yield inclines slightly towards overproduction, according to a preliminary calculation. However, the combined cumulative yield of the previous and recently completed monitoring periods shows underproduction, according to a preliminary calculation.

Other companies

The purpose of EPV Tase Oy (100%) is to provide balance-related services for EPV’s owners and the generation companies owned, entirely or partly, by EPV. The company’s operations during the financial year lived up to expectations and its turnover was almost at the same level as the previous year.

Suomen Energiavarat Oy (SEV) was established for a specific purpose. As a shareholder in Vapo Oy, its aim is to develop Vapo’s operations with the strategic goal of increasing the ownership value and primarily targeting Vapo’s resources in the production of domestic fuels and the development of new uses for peat. EPV owns all of SEV’s Series A shares and 3.9 per cent of its Series B shares.

EPV Bioturve Oy’s (100%) main focus lies in peat production and bio energy trade. Thanks to the favourable circumstances of last summer and autumn, peat production yielded good results. Bioenergy supplies also materialised according to plan. Land areas rented under the environmental peat business activities and compliant with purchase agreements produced, for example, more than 110,000 m3 of environmental peat and peat bedding.

EPV Teollisuusverkot Oy (90%) owns 110 kV high-voltage power lines in Röyttä, Tornio and uses them for transmission activities.

The subsidiary Vaskiluodon Teollisuuskiinteistöt Oy operates in the rental of industrial, office and storage facilities. The facilities are located in a reserve area for power generation.

Manga LNG Oy (5%) was established in 2013. The long-term purpose of the company is to deliver competitive liquefied natural gas to its shareholders. The company began its actual business activities in September 2019.

TURNOVER, PROFIT AND RESULT

The turnover of the EPV Energy Group was MEUR 343.4 (362.3). The turnover share of the electricity sales was MEUR 240.8 (267.6) and of the remaining operations MEUR 102.7 (94.7). The decline in turnover is due to the production volume which was lower than the previous year and, in part, to one-off billing items.

The business result of the Group was profitable at MEUR 25.3 (2.7). The result was better than the previous year, which is due to the increased feed-in tariff income for wind power and the one-off capital gain from fixed assets. The net financing costs of the financial year were MEUR 5.2 (6.2). The result for the financial year, as shown in the consolidated financial statements, was MEUR 15.8 (-3.7).

EPV Energy Ltd operates according to the absorption costing principle. Its shareholders pay for the variable costs according to the supplied amounts of energy and for the fixed costs in relation to their holdings, regardless of whether their share of the power asset has been utilised or not. Due to this operational principle, presenting economic indexes is irrelevant for understanding the operations, the financial position or the result. 

FINANCING AND INVESTMENTS

The grand total of the Group’s balance increased to MEUR 836.4 (827.5). Non-current liabilities were MEUR 299.9 (356.7) and current liabilities MEUR 137.2 (99.8). By the end of the year, the solvency ratio of the Group was 45.3 per cent (42.8), which means that the target level set by the company was achieved.

The liquidity of the Group was good all year. By the end of the year, there was a total of MEUR 68.9 (79.5) in liquid assets and investments. The decrease in liquid assets is mainly the result of the funds distributed from the invested non-restricted equity reserve during the financial year. Unused stand-by credit amounted to more than MEUR 80 by the end of the year.

The total net investments of the Group were MEUR 21.3 (41.2). The investments in tangible and intangible assets amounted to MEUR 41.1 (48.6). The investments were funded by taking out MEUR 19.2 in long-term loans and through share issues of MEUR 10.0.

The interest rate risk has been hedged through interest rate swap agreements. Further information on derivatives is available in the notes.

SHAREHOLDERS, GENERAL SHAREHOLDERS’ MEETING AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Shareholders

 Shareholders’ interests at the end of 2019 were as follows:

 2019 (%)2018 (%)
Alajärven Sähkö Oy1,411,41
Cumel Oy0,320,32
Helen Oy6,216,21
Imatran Seudun Sähkö Oy0,360,36
Jylhän Sähköosuuskunta4,084,08
JärviS-Energia Oy *1,691,69
Kaakon Energia Oy0,380,38
KSS Energia Oy0,660,66
Kymppivoima Oy8,928,92
Lahti Energia Oy8,878,87
Lehtimäen Sähkö Oy0,570,57
Oulun Energia Oy2,132,13
Outokumpu Oyj1,391,39
Oy Perhonjoki Ab1,771,77
Rauman Energia Oy0,930,93
Seinäjoen Energia Oy10,6510,65
Vaasan Sähkö Oy40,3140,31
Vantaan Energia Oy8,348,34
Vimpelin Voima Oy 0,470,47
Äänekosken Energia Oy0,520,52
Yhteensä100,00100,00

* Järviseudun Sähkövoiman Kuntayhtymä transferred its shareholding to its subsidiary JärviS-Energia Oy on 31 December 2019.

General Shareholders’ Meetings

The Ordinary General Shareholders’ Meeting of 2019 was assembled on 28 March 2019. The issues belonging to the Ordinary General Meeting were discussed, including the Board’s proposal on the arrangements concerning Vaskiluodon Voima Oy and some other assets, the Board’s proposal on the distribution of the Series E2 invested non-restricted equity reserve, the Board’s proposal on the distribution of the Series P1 and P2 invested non-restricted equity reserve, the Board’s proposal on the conversion of some shares in Series W2 to Series W7 shares and on changing the Articles of Association and the Board’s proposal for clarification of the Articles of Association.

In an Extraordinary General Meeting on 14 November 2019, the decision was made to accept the increase of share capital and the special issue of Series W7 shares in accordance with the Board’s proposal.

Board of Directors

In 2019, the Ordinary Members of the Board elected in the Ordinary General Meeting were Olli Arola, Stefan Damlin, Marko Haapala, Vesa Hätilä, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Pekka Manninen, Mikko Rajala, Anders Renvall, Joakim Strand and Markku Vartia.

The Deputy Members of the Board were Ahti Källi, Roger Holm, Kari Roos, Jukka Ylitalo and Hans-Alexander Öst.

The Chair of the Board was Miapetra Kumpula-Natri and the Vice Chair was Anders Renvall.

CEO

The CEO was Rami Vuola (MSc).

Auditors

In the General Meeting, Tatu Huhtala (CA) and the audit firm Ernst & Young Oy were elected Ordinary Auditors for the period until the Ordinary General Meeting in 2020, with Mikko Rytilahti (CA) as the main responsible Auditor and Anders Svennas (CA) and Kristian Berg (CA) as Vice Auditors.

PERSONNEL

The central responsibilities of the personnel include power procurement and the efficient management of power plant and network operational assets. The objective is to create added value for the company’s shareholders by governing the assets and supervising the operational entities connected to these.

Maintaining the know-how of the EPV Energy Group’s personnel plays a key role in ensuring the continuous development of the company’s operations. Development measures have been directed at improving competence and training managers, in addition to which the company has supported its employees in taking care of their health on a self-directed basis. Feedback is regularly collected from employees and utilised in developing the company’s operations and management practices. The company seeks to maintain employees’ mental and physical well-being and thus to promote their ability to perform their tasks at work.

Over the year, the average number of Group employees was 106 (101).  At the end of 2019, EPV Energy had 52 (51) employees, EPV Alueverkko 4 (3), Tornion Voima Oy 22 (21) and Seinäjoen Voima Oy 28 (27) employees. At the end of 2019, of the Group’s total personnel, 45 were managerial employees, 35 professional employees and 26 lower-level employees.

CURRENT LEGAL PROCESSES

The company is unaware of any current legal processes.

EVENTS FOLLOWING THE FINANCIAL YEAR

The company is unaware of any other significant events following the financial year which it has failed to mention in the annual report or its notes. 

RISK ASSESSMENT  

EPV’s business activities are exposed to several economic and strategic risks and risks relating to energy policies and regulations. In addition, its activities involve the usual risks of business economics and operations. The most central factor affecting business profitability is the development of the wholesale price of Nordic electricity, which is mainly determined by the price of fuels and CO2 emission allowances, as well as the hydrological situation.

The energy sector is a heavily regulated industry. Changes in regulations and taxation often reflect the prevailing political atmosphere and they can also alter the relative profitability of various production methods. Due to their political nature, these changes are often difficult to anticipate and may consequently increase the risks of individual production methods. EPV maintains a diverse industrial structure. In practice, this means that the energy acquired by the company has been produced using several different methods and that we avoid making the share of an individual production method too large. In addition to this, EPV engages in active strategic work to prepare for potential changes in the operating environment. EPV’s strategy is used to help ensure that the company makes correct and timely investment decisions.

The company is unaware of any other exceptional risks concerning its operations.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

EPV has continued to invest in research and development in various sections of electricity generation. Some of the most important areas of research are project opportunities relating to renewable energy, specifically electricity generated on an industrial scale through solar power. EPV has also charted the application of battery technology in the changing Nordic electricity system.

NEAR FUTURE PROSPECTS

The crucial factors influencing the development of electricity prices in the Nordic countries are the balance between demand and supply, the price of fuels and CO2 emission allowances, and the water resource situation. At the beginning of February 2020, after a few months of exceptionally warm and rainy weather considering the season, the hydrological reserves of the Nordic countries were approximately 14 TWh above the long-term average and 29 TWh above the level for this period in 2019. The market price of emission allowances for 2020 were about EUR 24 per tonne of carbon dioxide. At the same time, the average electricity price on the derivatives market for the rest of 2020 was approximately EUR 17 per megawatt hour and for 2021 approximately EUR 27 per megawatt hour. The regional price in Finland was respectively EUR 34 and 36 per megawatt hour.

The owners of Vaskiluodon Voima Oy, i.e. EPV Energy Ltd and Pohjolan Voima Oyj, have signed an agreement committing themselves to selling Vaskiluodon Voima Oy’s business operations to a company owned by EPV Energy which will take responsibility for its operations starting on 1 January 2023.

The prerequisite for a well-functioning electricity market is the ability to guarantee sufficient electrical power also in abnormal situations. Such abnormal situations include, for example, large breakdowns in production or transmission links, or a longer than normal frost period. Finland’s capacity has declined considerably over the last few years and is expected to drop further due to the fact that a significant number of CHP and condensing power plants are under threat of closure. It is fairly clear that, over the next few years, it will not be possible to significantly improve the situation by constructing new power plants or transmission links. At the beginning of this year, there were signs indicating that the problems with power and reserve capacity are starting to show. It would be in Finland’s best interest to ensure through legislation that sufficient adjustable electricity generation is retained in the country.

As we move towards carbon dioxide-neutral production, it becomes more and more evident that it will change the entire energy system and the electricity system in particular. New electricity generation methods will make controlling the entire system more difficult, resulting in a demand for new technologies and solutions. These, in turn, will increase the number of producers in the sector and shift the current market balance. The electricity market will adapt to the new situation and integrate the new market operators and products into the market, whether they involve electric cars, demand responses, energy reserves or distributed generation. In light of these developments, it is also plain to see that the legal and fiscal environment of the energy sector in the Nordic countries is changing.

In December, the European Commission announced a European Green Deal for the EU. This initiative aims to achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050. Up to 50 projects relating to the Green Deal programme are expected to be launched over the next two years. The targets of the Green Deal programme tackle more than just the climate; they also apply to all other EU policy areas and sectors. The programme is expected to create far-reaching growth in Europe. In practice it means re-evaluating all energy and climate targets as part of the Green Deal programme. As a result of this re-evaluation, regulations and the risks they involve may change.

In December, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament reached an agreement on the regulation concerning the taxonomy of sustainable finance. It will create a coherent categorisation system for investments that can be considered sustainable. The regulation is expected to take effect by the end of 2020. At this stage, it is still difficult to estimate the effects of taxonomy on future investments.

THE BOARD’S PROPOSITION FOR DISTRIBUTION OF PROFITS 

The distributable equity of the parent company amounts to EUR 277,302,520.55, of which the profit or loss for the financial year is EUR 2,608,268.97. The Board of Directors proposes to the General Shareholders’ Meeting that no dividends are to be paid.