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. Energy procurement is mainly transacted through the generation shares owned by the company and through its own power generation. EPV’s acquired amount of electricity in 2018 was 4,915 GWh (3,909). This corresponds to 5.6 per cent (4.6) of the electricity consumption in Finland.

EVENTS DURING THE FINANCIAL YEAR

Operating environment

According to preliminary statistics, the consumption of electricity in the Nordic countries in 2018 was slightly higher than the previous year at 399 TWh (392). In 2018, Finnish electricity consumption was 87.4 TWh (85.4), which meant an increase of approximately 2.3 per cent compared to 2016. The industrial share of the consumed electricity was 47 per cent and other consumption 53 per cent. Last year, industrial consumption increased by 1.8 per cent and consumption in other sectors by 2.7 per cent. The losses stood for approximately 3 per cent of the electricity consumption.

In 2018, 22.8 per cent of power procurement was covered by imports and 77.2 per cent by domestic generation. Combined generation of heat and power (CHP) covered approximately 24.6 per cent of the consumed electricity, nuclear power 25.0, hydropower 15.0, and coal and other condensing power 5.6 per cent. The share of wind power was 6.7 per cent. As a new statistic among the forms of power generation, solar power amounted to 0.2 per cent. The quantity of imported electricity from Sweden and Russia increased slightly compared to the previous year. The net exports of electricity to Estonia grew to approximately 1.5 TWh. As a result of these changes, Finnish imports of electricity decreased by 3 per cent compared to the previous year, amounting to 19.9 TWh.

Since March 2018, the snow and water reserves, i.e. the hydrological balance, of the Nordic countries have remained below the long-term average. The fluctuations relating to hydropower generation are clearly depicted in the fact that, over the year, the hydrological balance was 26 TWh below the long-term average at its lowest and 7 TWh above the long-term average at its highest. At the beginning of the year, the reserves were 7 TWh above the average level and at the end of the year 10 TWh below the average level. By the turn of the year, Nordic water reserves were approximately 73 TWh in total.

In 2018, Finland’s CO2 emissions from energy generation were 6.7 million tons, which is 15 per cent more than the previous year. The increase in carbon dioxide emissions was mainly due to the rise in the consumption of fossil fuels in power generation, which resulted from a greater need for heating in the winter of 2018 and the water shortages caused by the dry summer. Up to 79 per cent of the electricity generated in Finland was free from CO2 emissions. The share of renewable energy sources was 47 per cent of the electricity generated, and domestic fuels covered 53 per cent.

Production

Electricity generation in 2018 at the power plants of the partnership company Vaskiluodon Voima Oy (50%) was 1,117 GWh (1,064). A total of 537 GWh (759) of district heating was generated. On the basis of its interest, EPV acquired a total of 531 GWh (504) of electrical energy. These figures include those of the Seinäjoki power plant for January and February. The plant was sold to Seinäjoen Voima Oy on 1 March 2018. The normal inspections and maintenance work were carried out during the annual service of the Vaasa power plant.

The subsidiary Seinäjoen Voima Oy (100%) was founded on 21 January 2018 and it began its operations on 1 March 2018. The power plant generated 595 GWh (-) of electricity from March to December 2018. A total of 285 GWh (-) of district heating was generated. The normal inspections and maintenance work were carried out in the annual service of the Seinäjoki power plant.

The total output of the Olkiluoto 1 and 2 nuclear power plant units of the associated company Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) in 2018 was 14,089 GWh (13,415). Olkiluoto 2’s output in 2018 was the third highest in its history. Some large modifications and repairs were carried out during the annual outage of Olkiluoto 1, due to which its output was lower than that of Olkiluoto 2. Thanks to the modifications, the nominal output of Olkiluoto 1 increased from 880 to 890 megawatt at the turn of the year. During 2018, the operating licences of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant units 1 and 2 were extended to 2038. EPV’s direct interest in Teollisuuden Voima is 6.6 per cent, and 969 GWh (887) of energy was acquired in proportion to the share. The procurement also included the share of condensate production at the Meri-Pori power plant, ownership of which finished at the end of 2018.

In March 2018, Teollisuuden Voima signed a comprehensive settlement agreement concerning the completion of the Olkiluoto 3 project and the related disputes with the companies belonging to the plant supplier consortium. This comprehensive settlement agreement ensures that the Olkiluoto 3 project will continue to have the necessary financial, technical and human resources for the completion and successful start-up of the plant and also settles other outstanding issues.

According to the plant supplier’s schedule, the plant unit will be connected for the first time to the national grid in October 2019 and regular electricity generation will begin in January 2020.

The partnership company Pohjolan Voima Oy (PVO) 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 476 GWh (462) of electricity was acquired accordingly.

The quantity of electricity supplied by the associated company Rapid Power Oy (50%) at its hydroelectric power station in Norway was higher than the long-term average despite the restrictions on starting and stopping throughout the year and the maintenance of some generator units. In 2018, the total electricity supply to EPV was 707 GWh (613).  Rapid Power Oy’s hydropower generation in Norway is based on a 15-year leasing contract on the Rana hydroelectric power station. The contract will expire at the end of 2019.

Voimapiha Oy (17%) generates hydropower electricity in Sweden. Voimapiha holds a share of 25.7 per cent in Kraftgården Ab. 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 generation.  The electricity supplied by Voimapiha in 2018 was below the long-term average due to the extremely dry summer. During its fifth year of operation, Voimapiha Oy supplied EPV with 229 GWh (295) of hydropower electricity generated in Sweden.  The real estate tax of hydroelectric power stations in Sweden will be gradually reduced between 2017 and 2020. This has been a positive development for Swedish producers of hydropower, as real estate tax is one of the most significant cost factors in hydropower generation.

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 167 GWh (167).

Raahen Voima Oy is EPV’s partnership 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 2018, the total electricity supply for EPV was 160 GWh (148).

EPV Windpower Ltd (100%) focuses on building wind power farms and generating wind electricity in the coastal areas of Ostrobothnia and inland. EPV Windpower’s operational wind power farms are located in Torkkola, Vaasa (16 turbines); Santavuori, Ilmajoki (17); Metsälä, Kristinestad (34) and Paskoonharju, Teuva (2). Some damage has been observed to the blades of individual turbines in the wind power farm located in Metsälä, which is why some of the turbines were out of production in the autumn.  The turbines are covered by the component manufacturer’s guarantee. In addition, EPV Windpower holds unbuilt, legally valid building permits for new power plants. In 2018, the total electricity supply for EPV was 642 GWh (350).

For the Puuska wind power farm of Rajakiiri Oy (65.1%), located in Tornio, 2018 was a year of slightly higher output than the previous year. The total electricity generation of the company was 126 GWh (123), of which 79 GWh (78) were supplied to EPV.

Suomen Merituuli Oy is an associated company, the objective of which 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 regions.  EPV’s interest in the company is 50 per cent.

Regional grid company

The subsidiary EPV Alueverkko Oy (100%) practices electricity transmission and network operations mainly in the power transmission network rented from its parent company. The amount of energy transmitted for consumption via EPA’s transmission network in 2018 was 7,010 GWh (6,815), slightly more than the previous year. The network’s transmission losses (13.8 GWh) increased from the previous year, but remained clearly below the ten year average. Several new network projects were completed during the year and two new customers were connected to the network.

The completed financial year was the third year of the Energy Market Authority’s fourth regulatory period for network operations (2016–2019). According to a preliminary calculation, underperformance in the completed business year was approximately MEUR 2.0. The cumulative underperformance for the previous and current regulatory period is approximately MEUR 4.3.

Other companies

EPV Energy Ltd’s subsidiary Suomen Energiavarat Oy was founded for the purpose of, as a shareholder in Vapo Oy, developing Vapo’s operations with the strategic goal of increasing its ownership value, and primarily to aim its resources at the generation of domestic fuels and the development of new uses for peat.

The main focus of the operations of EPV Bioturve Oy (100 %) lies in peat production and the bioenergy business. Its operations expanded with the asset deal made in the spring which resulted in the ownership of Vaskiluodon Voima Oy’s land and peat business operations being transferred to it. The dry summer provided excellent conditions for peat production and peat supply. Fuel wood deliveries were also implemented according to plan. The new rental agreements made enabled the growth of environmental peat business operations. Production at the Vähäneva site in Laihia has proceeded according to plan and the preparation of the marsh in Hangasneva, Seinäjoki has continued. When completed, the production area of the latter will total approximately 280 hectares.  During the last accounting period, the company has also actively acquired bioenergy within its operating area.

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 in the fiscal year have lived up to expectations and its turnover has grown significantly due to the increased wind power production volume and two new customers.

EPV Teollisuusverkot Oy (90%) manages the transmission operations of the 110 kV high-voltage power lines in Röyttä, Tornio. EPV Alueverkko Oy manages the operative activities of the network.

EPV Tuotantoverkot Oy (100%) controls the 110 kV high-voltage distribution network and power stations located mainly between Pohjolan Voima’s hydroelectric power stations and the main grid in Northern Finland and the Satakunta region. Customers in this business area are distribution, industrial and production companies. In 2018, the energy transmitted for consumption via the company’s transmission network amounted to 196 GWh (200) and the energy for production was 481 GWh (624).

The completed financial year was the third year of the Energy Market Authority’s fourth regulatory period for network operations (2016–2019). According to a preliminary calculation, underperformance in the completed business year was approximately EUR 80,000. The cumulative underperformance for the previous and current regulatory period is approximately MEUR 3.8. As a result of centralising EPV’s network operations, the power lines, primary substations and other network property owned by EPV were transferred to the company as a net capital contribution on 1 January 2019.

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 decision to invest in constructing an LNG terminal in Tornio was made in December 2014 and gas deliveries to EPV were started in the autumn of 2018.

TURNOVER, PROFIT AND RESULT

The turnover of the EPV Energy Group was MEUR 362.3 (265.2). The turnover share of the electricity sales was MEUR 267.6 (182.1) and of the remaining operations MEUR 94.7 (83.2). The increase in turnover is a result of the growth of the electricity production capacity, high utilisation rate and the growing number of customers receiving balancing services.

The business result of the Group was profitable by MEUR 2.7 (17.7). The net financing costs of the financial year were MEUR 6.2 (4.3). According to the consolidated financial statements, the financial result for the fiscal year was MEUR -3.7 (10.3). The poorer result than in the previous year is due to the change in depreciation difference, recorded in consequence of the associated company’s asset deal, and the reduced feed-in tariff income from wind power.

EPV Energy Ltd operates according to the absorption costing principle. The 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 the power share 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 827.5 (797.2). Non-current liabilities were MEUR 356.7 (313.2) and current liabilities MEUR 99.8 (102.7). By the end of the year, the solvency ratio of the Group was 42.8 per cent (45.7), 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 79.5 (50.7) in liquid assets and investments. The increase in liquid assets is mainly due to unpaid investment expenditure and returns of capital. The 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 41.2 (122.8). The investments in tangible and intangible assets amounted to MEUR 48.6 (114.8). The investments were funded by a net increase of MEUR 28.6 in long-term loans and through share issues of MEUR 17.9. Long-term loans taken out totalled MEUR 74.6 and loan repayments totalled MEUR 46.0.

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

THE SHAREHOLDERS, GENERAL SHAREHOLDERS’ MEETING AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Shareholders

Shareholders’ interests at the end of 2018 were as follows:

 2018 (%)2017 (%)
Alajärven Sähkö Oy1.411.41
Cumel Oy0.320.2
Helen Oy6.216.27
Imatran Seudun Sähkö Oy0.360.37
Jylhän Sähköosuuskunta4.084.08
Järviseudun Sähkövoiman Kuntayhtymä1.691.69
Kaakon Energia Oy0.380.38
KSS Energia Oy0.660.66
Kymppivoima Oy8.928.91
Lahti Energia Oy8.878.73
Lehtimäen Sähkö Oy0.570.57
Oulun Energia Oy2.132.00
Outokumpu Oyj1.391.42
Oy Perhonjoki Ab1.771.78
Rauman Energia Oy0.930.92
Seinäjoen Energia Oy10.6510.56
Vaasan Sähkö Oy40.3140.58
Vantaan Energia Oy8.348.34
Vimpelin Voima Oy0.470.48
Äänekosken Energia Oy0.520.53
Total100.00100.00

General Shareholders’ Meetings

The Ordinary General Shareholders’ Meeting of 2018 was assembled on 27 March 2018. The issues belonging to the Ordinary General Meeting were discussed, as well as the sales of the 400 kV power line between Ulvila and Meri-Pori and the 110 kV switchyard in Tahkoluoto, and the business transfer of the regional grid owned by EPV Energy Ltd to EPV Tuotantoverkot Oy in exchange for shares.

The Extraordinary General Meeting on 22 February 2018 dealt with the Board’s proposal on the sale and purchase of the Seinäjoki power plant and energy peat business owned by Vaskiluodon Voima Oy, amending the regulations concerning the D1 and D2 series of EPV’s Articles of Association due to the arrangements of Vaskiluodon Voima Oy’s plant in Seinäjoki and establishing a new D3 series connected to the arrangements, and the special issue of the company’s new D3 series which is linked to the purchase of the Seinäjoki power plant.

The second Extraordinary General Meeting on 4 June 2018 examined the Board’s proposal on the sale of TVO’s C-series shares, disposing of the Meri-Pori power generation shares and the sale of some of the power station equipment and a plot owned by the company to Fingrid Oyj.

The third Extraordinary General Meeting on 21 September 2018 dealt with the write-down of the share premium account, revaluation reserve and statutory reserve in the company’s balance sheet; authorising the Board to distribute assets from the E2 share series’ reserve for non-restricted equity in relation to the expiration of the leasing agreement of Rapid Power Oy’s Rana hydroelectric power station; handing over the company’s land; authorising the Board to decide on the details of the handover conditions and adding members to the Board.

Board of Directors

In 2018, the Ordinary Members of the Board elected in the Ordinary General Meeting were Juha Häkkinen, Vesa Hätilä, Janne Kangasaho, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Hannu Linna, Pekka Manninen, Mikko Rajala, Anders Renvall, Joakim Strand and Markku Vartia.

The Deputy Members of the Board were Olli Arola, Ahti Källi, Matti Rasimus, Kari Roos and Jukka Ylitalo.

The Chairman of the Board was Miapetra Kumpula-Natri and the Vice Chairman was Vesa Hätilä.

In the Extraordinary General Meeting of 21 September 2018, when Juha Häkkinen resigned from the Board, the Board was supplemented by electing Stefan Damlin and Olli Arola as Ordinary Members and Hannu Linna as Deputy Member.

Managing Director

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 2019, with Mikko Rytilahti (CA) as 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 our operations. Development measures have been allocated to the improvement of competence and supervisor training, in addition to which the company has supported employees in taking care of their health independently. Feedback is collected from the personnel at regular intervals and it is utilised in the development of our activities and management. The company aims to maintain employees’ mental and physical well-being and thus to promote their ability to perform their tasks at work.

The number of personnel in the Group grew by 30 and, over the year, the average number of employees was 101 (71).  The increase in personnel was mainly due to the company acquisition made during the reporting period. On 1 March 2018, EPV Energy Ltd and Pohjolan Voima Oyj agreed on two asset deals, which involved Vaskiluodon Voima Oy (owned 50/50 by the companies) selling the Seinäjoki power plant operations and the company’s land to EPV Energy. In connection with the deal, the personnel of the Seinäjoki power plant transferred to EPV Energy, which increased its number of staff by 27.

At the end of 2018, EPV Energy had 51 (43) employees, EPV Alueverkko 3 (3), Tornion Voima Oy 21 (22) and Seinäjoen Voima Oy 27 employees. Of the Group’s total personnel at the end of 2018, 76 were officials and 26 employees.

CURRENT LEGAL PROCESSES

The company knows of no legal processes currently open.

EVENTS FOLLOWING THE FINANCIAL YEAR

EPV Alueverkko Oy merged with EPV Tuotantoverkot Oy on 1 January 2019. At the same time, EPV transferred the network asset operations in the parent company’s balance sheet in full to EPV Tuotantoverkot Oy in exchange for shares. As a result of these transactions, network operations were centralised in one company, while at the same time the business area in question was made clearer and more effective. The network operations will be continued under the name EPV Alueverkko Oy.

After this transfer, EPV Alueverkko sold its 400 kV power line and primary substation to Fortum Oyj on 1 January 2019. The transaction had no essential significance on the operations of EPV Alueverkko.

The company knows of no other significant events following the financial year which it has failed to mention in the annual report or the notes to the financial statements. 

ASSESSMENT OF RISKS

EPV’s operations are exposed to several financial and strategic risks, as well as risks relating to energy policies and regulations. In addition, its activities include the usual risks of business economics and operations. In terms of the profitability of business operations, the most central factor to be taken into account is the development of the wholesale price of Nordic electricity, which is mainly influenced by the prices of fuels and CO2 emission allowances and the hydrologic situation.

The energy sector is an intensely regulated industry. Changes in regulations and taxation often reflect the predominant political atmosphere and may also change the relative profitability of different methods of production. Due to their political nature, some of these changes are difficult to predict and may thus increase the risks of individual methods of production. EPV maintains a diverse production structure. In practice, this means that the energy acquired by the company has been produced in several different ways and the share of a single method of production is not allowed to grow too large. In addition to this, EPV has prepared itself for changes in the operational environment by engaging in active strategic work. On the basis of this strategy, EPV aims to ensure correct and timely investments and investment decisions.

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

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 levels for fuels and CO2 emission allowances, and the water resource situation. At the beginning of February 2019, the hydrological water reserves of the Nordic countries were approximately 8 TWh below the long-term average and 15 TWh below the level for this period in 2018. The market price of emission allowances for 2019 was about EUR 22 per ton of carbon dioxide. At the same time, the average electricity price on the derivatives market for the rest of 2019 was approximately EUR 44 per megawatt-hour and for 2020 approximately EUR 37 per megawatt-hour. The regional price in Finland was respectively EUR 50 and 41 per megawatt-hour. The forward price of coal for the rest of 2019 was approximately USD 82 per ton.

The repairs of the damage to the blades of EPV Windpower Ltd’s Metsälä wind power farm in Kristinestad will continue in the spring of 2019, causing some of the turbines to be out of production.

On 7 March 2019, the Finnish Government granted an operating licence for Teollisuuden Voima Oyj’s (TVO) new nuclear power plant unit OL3 EPR in Olkiluoto in the municipality of Eurajoki. The licence is valid until the end of the year 2038.

According to information received from TVO, the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) made a statement on the operating licence application of the Olkiluoto 3 plant unit on 25 February 2019. STUK sees no obstacle to granting the licence in accordance with the application until the end of 2038. Applying the Nuclear Energy Act, STUK has assessed not only the safety of the OL3 plant unit, but the entire TVO Group’s operations, such as resources, competence and radioactive waste management. The decision on the operating licence will be made by the Finnish Government.

The prerequisite of workable electricity markets is that sufficient electric power can be guaranteed also in situations that deviate from the normal. Such exceptional circumstances include, for example, extensive disturbances in production or distribution connections, or a long freeze-up. Finland’s capacity has decreased considerably over the last few years and is expected to decrease further when a significant number of CHP production plants, in addition to condensate plants, face the threat of closing down. 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 connections. Over the past year, it has become evident that the problems with power and reserve capacity are starting to show. It would be in Finland’s best interests to enact laws to ensure that a sufficiently large amount of controllable production remains in the country.

As we move towards carbon-neutral production, it is evident that it will change the entire energy system and especially the electricity system. With new methods of electricity production, the controllability of the entire system becomes more difficult and new technologies and solutions will be needed. These, in turn, will increase the number of operators in the sector and change the current market positions. The electricity markets will adapt to the new situation and will integrate new market operators and products into the market, whether they involve electric cars, demand responses to consumption, energy resources or decentralised production. In light of these developments, it is plain to see that the legal and fiscal environment of the energy sector in the Nordic countries is changing.

THE BOARD’S PROPOSITION FOR DISTRIBUTION OF PROFITS

The distributable equity of the parent company amounts to EUR 207,780,006.66, of which the profit or loss for the financial year is EUR 1,095.09. The Board of Directors proposes to the General Shareholders’ Meeting that no dividends are to be paid.