Eesti Energia: Availability of capital for energy projects has decreased

Auvere Power Plant.
Auvere Power Plant. Source: Eesti Energia

The financing of energy production projects requires long-term investments. However, the availability of long-term capital has significantly decreased, according to Eesti Energia board member and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Andri Avila.

Ahti Asmann, CEO of Estonian oil shale chemistry company Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) Ahti Asmann, said on ETV politics show "Esimene stuudio" on Wednesday, that Eesti Energia's €500 million bonds have already failed to be refinanced twice.

However, Avila said, that this information is not entirely accurate and that, in fact, Eesti Energia has only failed to refinance the bonds on one occasion.

"We ourselves decided not to go ahead with the transaction, because Russia's aggression in Ukraine had disrupted the bond market," he told ERR.

Avila pointed out, that while energy projects tend to be long-term, the availability of the capital required to finance them has decreased significantly.

Investors are extremely interested in putting money into large-scale offshore wind farms, said Avila. But, at the same time, they are looking to ensure that these large investments will pay off in the long term.

"Some countries are offering these kinds of guarantees to developers in order to increase their share of renewable energy," he added.

According to Avila, when it comes to financing, environmental issues are a very important consideration. Wind farms, solar parks and other renewable energy projects are still financially viable, however, the cost of debt capital has also increased significantly.

Fossil fuel investments, on the other hand, are very difficult to finance with debt.

"Also, due to geopolitical reasons, many financiers have become very cautious about the region, making it more challenging to raise funds," Avila said.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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