Category Archives: News

aventron strengthens its position in hydropower in Europe

aventron confirms its growth ambitions in the field of hydropower generation while selling its minority stake in the French family company UNITe

Hydroelectric power is one of aventron’s three renewable resources for power generation in Europe and the origin of the company. The company is consistently pursuing its development initiative to further expand hydropower as part of its diversification strategy. At the end of 2017, the portfolio of hydroelectric power plants spread over Norway, France, Switzerland and Italy had a combined capacity of 74 MW for 32 plants. At the end of 2018, the cumulative capacity had already reached 105 MW for 39 plants, including plants under construction or in an advanced development phase. Thus, a new 1.4 MW power plant was commissioned at the end of 2018 in Italy on the Parma River. In Norway, many construction projects are underway, including the 9.3 MW Kjerringnes project, the group’s largest hydropower plant to date. In Switzerland, agreements have been signed for aventron’s participation in the construction of the future Palanggenbach power plant (2.8 MW) in the canton of Uri. By the end of 2020, the aventron Group is expected to expand its hydropower portfolio in these countries to around 120 MW, thereby achieving a better balanced representation of each of the renewable resources water, wind and sun in the portfolio.

In France, the aventron group sold its minority stake in UNITe, a French family-owned company, specialized in renewable energies, to focus on the management of majority owned generation assets. To this end, an operating team expert in hydropower generation has been set up in France to manage the operation of the fleet and to support the development and acquisition of new plants. The objective is to optimize the performance of the portfolio while strengthening internal skills.

aventron signs EPC contracts with Solarpack for 2 x 50 MW subvention-free solar powerplants in Spain

construction under turn-key EPC contracts for two 50 MW solar photovoltaic plants in Spain to start already in the first half of 2019.

At the beginning of December, aventron signed general contractor agreements for the turnkey construction of two photovoltaic power plants in Spain with a capacity of 50 MW each. The contract partner is Solarpack Corporacion Tecnologica SA, an international independent solar PV power producer based in Spain dedicated to the development, construction and operation of solar PV projects. Both projects have already passed the required environmental impact assessments and the final building permits are expected at the beginning of 2019. The development partner is the Spanish company Synergia Energy Solutions SL.

The two ground-mounted systems in the Toledo and Murcia regions are among the first major solar projects in Europe to be implemented and operated without subsidies or other direct government support instruments. Each individual park will cover an area of around 90 hectares and is expected to generate around 95 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The total amount of energy generated thus corresponds to the annual requirements of a city with around 55,000 inhabitants.

aventron is currently in advanced negotiations of the power purchase agreements for the energy generated in the projects and is structuring the necessary external financing on this basis. Financial close and start of construction is expected in the second quarter of 2019.

The two solar park projects Bargas and Algibicos are a milestone in the implementation of aventron’s growth strategy. On the one hand, aventron exceeds the short-term target of 500 MW for portfolio expansion earlier than planned and on the other hand, its solar production segment will be substantially strengthened. aventron’s next step is to achieve an installed capacity of 600 MW in its core areas of wind, water and sun by the end of 2020.

aventron completes roll-out of cutting edge plant data management infrastructure

aventron completes roll-out of a latest generation data acquisition infrastructure across all its photovoltaic and small hydro plants across six countries enabling cloud based real time data storage, access and analysis.

In close cooperation with secure data acquisition firm Ardexa (https://ardexa.com/), the aventron group equipped most of its 150 solar PV and small hydro plants, as well as a number of wind parks, across six European countries.  Industrial computers installed at each plant, connect to local inverters, PLCs, cameras and other equipment, and send data and images to the aventron data cloud. High-resolution data access is real time, with control of remote plants also implemented. It is estimated that over 5000 individual machines (inverters, turbines, generators) are connected across these plants, with approximately 150,000 unique sensor points accessed through the system.  Digital certificate based authentication, as well as other security features, underpins the integrity of the system.

The platform allows management visualization as well as detailed analyses of all plants to improve asset management effectiveness.  Data from the aventron cloud can also be securely shared with partners companies for capacity planning (grid operators), diagnostics (technical operators) and in-depth plant analysis (analytical partners).

aventron embarked on customization of its infrastructure to implement smart features such as automated alerting, trend recognition through machine learning, image recognition with edge processing. The vision is to obtain a fully-automated digital asset management solution which guides aventron asset managers to the critical operational issues and in final consequence increased energy production output.

Antoine Millioud, CEO of aventron AG comments “we have the ambition to adopt advances in modern data acquisition, Internet of Things and narrow AI solutions to enhance our productivity. Ardexa has helped us understand the possibilities and chose a cost effective way forward”.

Eugene Cora, Director of Ardexa comments “aventron have demonstrated leadership and vision in bringing together over 30 partner companies, including technical operators, analysts and customers, to drive this important digital transformation program.  The focus is now turning to new competencies and methods required to leverage these digital assets and plant connections. ”

Ardexa is a modern software and services company with offices in Europe, North America and Asia.   The company delivers simple and secure device management for the connected world.  With an extensive heritage in digital security, Ardexa products are born and maintained to high digital security standards.  The Ardexa mission is to support clients to manage their critical operational data and remote machine connections.  Ardexa software agents can connect most machines (legacy or modern), enabling clients to implement machine learning, artificial intelligence and automated processing of data and images.   Ardexa supports digital transformation programs in the energy, agriculture, resources, automation and transport sectors

aventron records significant increases in revenue in the first half of 2018 and doubles net profits

In the first half of 2018, aventron has produced 410 GWh of renewable energy and, in doing so, has generated profits of CHF 6.4 million. Turnover and EBIT have improved by 26 percent compared to the previous year.

In the first half of 2018, aventron generated revenues from the supply of energy amounting to CHF 46.5 million (prev. year CHF 36.8 million) with an EBIT of CHF 15.6 million (prev. year CHF 12.4 million). The newly purchased and commissioned power plants have made a significant contribution to the increase in revenue and output. These include, for example, wind parks in France and Germany and small hydro power plants in Norway. In comparison to the previous year, the first quarter of 2018 featured an abundance of water and wind. The second quarter was characterised by good solar radiation. This meteorological constellation helped aventron to achieve a positive start to the 2018 financial year as a result of its diversified energy production portfolio. This confirms the strategy which aventron continues to actively pursue: of the EBIT as at 30/06/2018, 18 percent comes from hydro, 57 percent from wind and 25 percent from solar power. With its power plants in six countries, aventron has thus produced 410 GWh (prev. year 360 GWh) of energy output. As at the reporting date, aventron operates a portfolio of 422 MW (prev. year 362 MW) in Europe.

In relation to the net earnings, the EBITDA margin is slightly higher at 70.2 (69.2) percent and the EBIT margin remains almost unchanged at 33.5 (33.7) percent. The half-yearly net profits came in at CHF 6.4 million (prev. year 3.2 million), which represents almost double the figure from the previous year. The EBITDA per share increased to 0.96 swiss francs per share (prev. year 0.75). From the shareholders’ perspective, the strong growth in recent years has led to an increase in cash flow per share and thus an increase in the attractiveness and stability of the company.

Following the positive half-year figures, the Executive Board increases its forecast for the full year 2018 with revenues of CHF 90 million and an EBIT margin of 30 percent. Contributions in kind from the capital increase in the form of a 42 MW wind park in Spain and solar energy plants in France (1 MW), which are revenue-relevant with immediate effect, will make a significant contribution. The objective of achieving a renewable energy portfolio with an output of 500 MW is within reach.

With the capital increase completed in July, aventron was able to secure CHF 35.4 million in cash contributions and contributions in kind amounting to CHF 58.9 million. The liquid assets of the company thus increased to the current value of around CHF 80 million. With the contributions in kind and acquisitions from the first half of 2018, the aventron portfolio has now achieved an installed output of around 465 megawatt (MW). After the capital increase, the number of shares issued is 43,728,575, each with a nominal value of CHF 1.00. The market capitalisation is around CHF 430 million.

aventron increases earnings per share and proposes capital raise to finance further expansion

Revenues in the financial year of 2017 were up by 59% and earnings per share grew by 111% to CHF 0.245 per share. aventron is proposing a capital raise by a maximum of CHF 147 million and an issue price of CHF 9.80 per share.

In the past financial year revenues grew by 59% to CHF 77.1 (previous year 48.5) million. Acquisitions in the Solar PV segments Italy and Switzerland were the main contributors to this growth, combined with developments in the hydro segment in Norway. The wind and solar power plants which were acquired through in kind contributions during the 2016 capital raise delivered their full-year results for the first time. aventron increased EBIT disproportionately by 73% to CHF 23.9 (PY 13.8) million. Economies of scale, operating improvements and positive developments in the Euro-CHF exchange rate led to a net income of CHF 8.3 (PY 3.0) million. The earnings per share (eps) grew by 111% to CHF 0.245 per share. These results once more underline the profitability of aventron’s business model. The company succeeded in improving earnings per share despite the dilution effects of past capital raises. By the end of 2017 the portfolio consisted of 386 (PY 350) MW installed capacity. The wind segment delivered 55.8% of the revenues. 33.4% stemmed from the solar PV segment and 10.1% from the hydro segment.

Proposed dividend 9.5% up

aventron would like its shareholders to participate in these positive results. The Board of Directors thus proposes to the General Meeting to increase the dividend by 9.5% to CHF 0.23 per share. The Annual General Meeting of aventron AG will take place on 17 April 2018.

In 2017 aventron invested CHF 67.7 million net in the acquisition of existing power plants and in the construction of its own generating capacity. Within one year total assets rose to CHF 686.9 million (CHF 577.4 million). By the end of 2017 the aventron group held liquid assets totaling CHF 39.4 million (CHF 33.5 million).

New target portfolio size of 1 GW

For the financial year of 2018 the management is expecting a revenue increase of 10% to around CHF 85 million, assuming average weather conditions and a stable Euro, with a strong EBIT-margin of about 30%. For the current financial year aventron is planning to acquire around 40 MW of new generating capacity in the solar, wind and hydro power sectors (contributions-in-kind of the planned capital raise not included).

Considering its existing pipeline for the next quarters the company assumes that it will reach its 500 MW target by 2019. In the medium term aventron is aiming at a portfolio size of 1’000 MW (1 GW). The portfolio will continue to grow in a balanced manner between solar, wind and hydro assets in selected countries.

Additional capital increase is planned

At the Annual General Assembly 2018 aventron will seek approval for an additional capital increase consisting of a volume of up to 15 million shares. This corresponds to an increase in equity of up to CHF 147 million. The registered shares will be issued at an issue price of CHF 9.80 per share. A fraction of the new equity is to be paid up by the main shareholders by contributions in kind of various wind and solar power plants that are already in operation. The planned capital increase is intended to generate additional funds for investments in a diversified portfolio in all the countries in which aventron is active. The target technologies remain small hydro, solar PV and wind power.