Cheap coal lifts Taqa Morocco profit

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, known as Taqa, ­yesterday said that first-half net profit at its Moroccan unit improved as it took advantage of low coal prices.

Casablanca-listed Taqa Morocco reported a 5 per cent increase in net income in first six months of the year to 467 million Moroccan dirhams (Dh175.8m) from 445m dirhams in the same period last year.

Revenue, however, fell by 7 per cent to 4 billion dirhams from 4.3bn dirhams last year because of minor repairs to one of its units at Jorf Lasfar Energy.

The company’s coal purchase price fell 11 per cent during the period.

Jorf Lasfar Energy delivers about 50 per cent of electricity for the domestic market with its 2,056 megawatt coal-fired power plant. It also represents more than 30 per cent of the North African country’s installed capacity.

The company’s operational costs fell as the commodity’s price fell by 30 per cent last year, as a result of weak demand, according to BP.

Coal prices have historically been lower and more stable than oil and gas, which allows for greater affordability for power generation.

Coal prices are not expected to rebound this year. The US Energy Information Administration is forecasting the price of coal to be US$2.18 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) this year from last year’s $2.23 MMBtu amid ample US gas supplies.

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