- Alpiq has faced financial difficulties due to the sharp rise in energy prices internationally.
- Switzerland’s second largest electricity company has threatened to run out of money before Christmas.
- But shareholders are now helping Alpiq with a three-digit million dollar.
Energy markets are unbalanced due to rising demand in Asia, political tensions between Russia and the European Union and the failure of French nuclear power plants. The consequences are that the prices of electricity and gas will rise dramatically. This put Albec in a bind. Because the company sells electricity up front, long before it can be produced – and then has to buy it if suddenly there isn’t enough.
So Alpiq had to buy electricity at high prices in order to fulfill supply contracts – also because the Leibstadt nuclear power plant had been idle for longer than planned. The situation before Christmas was acute. Albek even applied for state assistance. However, the request was withdrawn.
The situation is likely to remain tense
First of all, the group’s shareholders provide a financial reserve. They are temporarily providing Albec with cash of 223 million Swiss francs. An increase to 300 million is under discussion. In addition, Alpiq has agreed additional lines of credit and guarantee with its banks.
Albec announced at its headquarters in Lausanne that this would make the group more flexible. This is also necessary. The situation in the energy markets is likely to remain tense for some time to come.
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