João Marques da Cruz
What is your assessment of 2017? What were the major challenges?
The year 2017 saw the culmination of the development phase of the 209 MW San Gaban III hydroelectric power plant in Peru, which began in 2014, with the start of its physical construction and the signing of a financing agreement with the Hydro Global subsidiary. In addition, from the second quarter, this company began negotiating the acquisition of a pipeline in Colombia. One project (170 MW) has been licensed and two sets of cascade projects are in the licensing phase (600 MW). As for Labelec, the increase in laboratory and R&D work continued, and the first results of the reconfiguration of international activities that began in 2016 were obtained. The profitability of the laboratories increased because of the growth of services rendered – especially for customers outside the Group – and improved productivity. We adjusted the profile of our portfolio of R&D projects, preferring to participate in smaller projects as a means of reducing the risk of dependency. We are focusing on specific markets in the provision of international services: Macao, China, Cape Verde, S. Tomé e Príncipe, Mozambique and high-quality customers – China Three Gorges (CTG), multilateral institutions, cooperation agencies and investment banks.
What facts stand out in the different areas for which you are responsible?
Hydro Global's main objective in 2018 is to consolidate its regional presence in Latin America. The identification of power purchase agreements (PPA) that allow at least one additional project in Peru and the establishment of a permanent presence in Colombia based on the pipeline mentioned above are priority vectors in the company's strategy. At the same time, business development activity will focus on the remaining investment grade countries in the region (Mexico and Chile), while analysing opportunities in other countries, particularly Mozambique. Furthermore, as the first example of shared control with CTG, Hydro Global faces specific responsibilities and organisational challenges and intends to position itself as an operational "laboratory" of the EDP/CTG strategic partnership in identifying potential synergies and best practices, as well as in the interaction between the two business cultures. With Labelec I must mention the opening of the new smart grids laboratory, the transition to the “routine operation” phase of drone inspections, the digitisation initiatives and the implementation of Labora 2017. Na Labelec destaco o arranque do novo laboratório de smart grids, a passagem à fase de “operação de rotina” das inspeções com “drones”, as iniciativas no domínio da digitalização e a realização do Labora 2017. As for R&D activities, I would like to highlight 10 projects in the areas of energy storage, flexibility management, and smart grids, as well as an encouraging pipeline of eight H2020 applications in 2018. In international market service provision, of note are the work supporting the recovery of the energy sector in S. Tomé and Príncipe, professional training in Eletricidade de Moçambique, the relationship with the Macau Electricity Company (CEM) and the collaboration with H. Cahora Bassa.