• Maintenance of a high level of quality of service
• Renewable production supplied 52% of the domestic consumption
• In March 2018, renewable production fuelled consumption for over two days
• The National Electric System remains an exporter, for the third year in a row
• 2018 ends with the second highest consumption of natural gas ever recorded
• Sines LNG Terminal recorded an all-time high in usage and received its 500th methane tanke
• Net profit was €115.7M
• The average cost of debt decreased to 2.2%
REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais recorded a net profit of €115.7M in 2018, a decrease of 8.1%, mainly hampered by a higher actual tax rate, which, with the maintenance of the Special Tax on the Electricity Sector (CESE - Contribuição Especial para o Setor Elétrico), amounted to 42%.
EBITDA was €492.3M, a year-on-year increase of 1%, impacted positively by the consolidation of the acquisition of REN Portgás and Electrogas, two recent investments by the company, which successfully helped to offset the lack of investment opportunities in power transmission infrastructure in Portugal.
In 2018, REN recorded a solid financial performance, sustained by the reduction in the average cost of debt to 2.2%, from the 2.5% recorded in 2017. At the end of 2018, the average debt maturity was 4.35 years.
In May, REN presented its strategic plan for the period from 2018 to 2021, based on two pillars: maintaining the operational excellence that characterizes the company's operation; maintaining disciplined growth and ensuring a solid financial performance.
In financial terms, the North American financial rating agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) increased the rating of REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais from BBB-/A-3 to BBB/A-2, with a stable outlook.
REN's Board of Directors will propose payment of a dividend of 17.1 cents per share to the General Shareholders' Meeting, a value in line with the company's dividend policy announced in REN's last Capital Markets Day.
All-time highs characterized 2018
In 2018, renewable production supplied 52% of domestic consumption, plus net exports, broken down into wind power and hydropower, both with 23%, biomass with 5% and photovoltaics with 1.5%. Non-renewable production supplied the remaining 48% of consumption, broken down into natural gas with 27% and coal with 21%. The balance of trade favoured exports for the third year in a row and amounted to around 5% of domestic consumption.
The generation of photovoltaic energy reached a new all-time high in Portugal, on 29 July, at 1:45 pm, with 437 MW, surpassing the previous record of 409 MW, observed on 18 May 2017. Monthly production also reached a new high, with 99 GWh, thus surpassing the previous record of 95 GWh, observed in July 2017. REN also recorded a new all-time high of 12043 MW in the domestic production of electricity on 7 March 2018, 555 MW higher than the previous high from 18 February 2016. Between 11:30 pm of 12 March and 8:00 pm of 15 March, renewable production - mainly hydropower and wind power - was enough to fuel the domestic consumption of electricity.
In 2018, a new all-time high was achieved in the usage of the Sines Terminal, with 43.4 TWh of unloaded natural gas. Moreover, 2018 was the second year with the highest consumption of natural gas in Portugal: 64.9 TWh. On 22 December, the Liquefied Gas Terminal (LNG) in Sines welcomed its 500th ship. A vessel hailing from Qatar and carrying around 170 thousand cubic metres of LNG.
In spite of another summer characterized by forest fires, the service quality remained at very high levels, recording 0.02 minutes of interruption in natural gas and 0.03 minutes in electricity. REN's operational excellence keeps the company among the global reference operators.
The investment in technological evolution has been a priority for REN, with special focus on the areas of preventive maintenance, cybersecurity, digitization of processes and management of Dispatch. Still in the field of technology, the relationship with multiple entities in the sector involved in the energy transition process was made closer, in accordance with the objectives set by Portugal for 2030.
REN kept its commitment to the local communities and to the protection of the national forests. This commitment is reflected in the sustained growth of the corporate volunteer hours provided by the company's employees, in the environmental education project 'Heroes of All Kinds' that involves all of the country's elementary schools and in the award of the AGIR Prize to projects dedicated to the preservation and recovery of the natural heritage of the regions. Its commitment also translates into the over one million trees from native species planted in the easement corridors of our infrastructure since 2010, and in the vehicles donated to fire brigades across the country.