Amprion GmbH can look back on an extremely fascinating, if you’ll excuse the pun, high-tension, year 2018. Once again we fulfilled our responsibility to operate our extra-high-voltage grid – an absolutely crucial piece of infrastructure for Germany’s economy – safely and securely and to further expand it to meet the growing demands. At the same time, Amprion has made positive progress commercially. The company’s sales revenues and earnings rose to 13,893 million euros in the past financial year, an increase of 6.6 per cent year-on-year. This growth is mainly attributable to the EEG (Renewable Energy Sources Act) equalisation mechanism, which had no effect on net income and which, at 10,945 million euros, was 5.3 per cent higher than in the previous year. Revenues from our grid business also rose, from 2,541 million euros (2017) to 2,839 million euros. In total, Amprion made a net profit for the year of 203 million euros. The main driver was the increase in our equity base as a result of our investments in grid expansion.
The past few months have seen some important policy decisions regarding Germany’s energy sector: from the “coal phase-out” to establishment of the target to increase the share of renewables in power generation to 65 per cent by 2030. Our transmission grid must meet the needs of this changing generation landscape. All the more important, then, that expansion of the grid progresses rapidly. In the coming decade, Amprion will be investing some 9.3 billion euros in upgrading and expanding our grid, and implementing an abundance of projects.
2018 saw us push ahead with around 380 projects and reach important milestones in the process – as illustrated by various groundbreaking ceremonies, initial start-ups and the erecting of new solid-panel pylons for the Wesel-Doetinchem interconnector in September. The synchronous compensator and the transformer substation in Oberottmarshausen, which went into operation in September, are also important elements of our grid upgrade. They ensure that the grid voltage in southern Germany is maintained at a constant level and secure the power supply for Bavarian Swabia. The DC link project ALEGrO is just one example of the projects that made up the other 144 line kilometres for which we received a construction permit in 2018. We started construction of this link at the end of October.
However, the energy transition doesn’t affect the electricity sector alone. All energy sectors are called upon to increase our joint green footprint. For this purpose, Amprion is working with the gas transmission grid operator Open Grid Europe to accelerate development in sector coupling. Under the umbrella of our “hybridge” project, we aim to progress power-to-gas technology so that in future it can be used on an industrial scale. To this end, we are planning to set up an electrolyser in the Lingen area that will be able to convert up to 100 megawatts of electrical power into hydrogen from 2023.
For our company to be in a position to meet these growing challenges, we must have a sound financial basis. And this we have at Amprion, as confirmed by the credit rating agencies Moody’s and Fitch. In their annual review, they continue to rank Amprion as a solid investment, awarding us “A3” and “A-” ratings, respectively. These positive ratings help ensure that we continue to enjoy ready access to the capital markets and good terms.
This restructuring of the energy system presents Amprion with multiple challenges, but also a great many opportunities. We want to exploit these opportunities – and exploit the full scope of expertise, innovative ingenuity and enthusiasm of our workforce to do so.
A workforce that also continued a positive trend, growing to over 1,400 in 2018. We would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to each and every one of our excellent employees. They are the foundation on which our company will continue to develop positively in 2019.
Dr Hans-Jürgen Brick
Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Financial Officer
Dr Klaus Kleinekorte
Chief Technical Officer