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Empresa de Energía de Bogotá (EEB): Widening its domestic and global reach [free access]

May 7, 2015

Founded in 1896, Empresa de Energía de Bogotá (EEB) is one of Colombia’s largest power transmission companies. It holds an 8.2 per cent share in the country’s power transmission market, the second highest among the various players. Headquartered in Bogota, EEB is the parent company of the Grupo Energía de Bogotá (GEB), which is an integrated energy company with interests in the natural gas and electricity sectors and operations in Colombia, Peru and Guatemala. The majority of EEB’s shares are held by the District of Bogota, which holds a 76.2 per cent share.

 

The company also has a presence in the electricity generation and distribution segments in Colombia through group companies EMGESA and Empresa de Energía de Cundinamarca (EEC), respectively. It also holds a 20.72 per cent share in Colombia’s power generation segment (second largest in the country) and a 26.6 per cent share in the power distribution segment (largest in the country). In addition, it controls the largest natural gas carrier in Colombia, TGI S.A. Most of EEB’s infrastructure is located in the departments of Cundinamarca and Meta; it also has assets in the cities of Cartagena and Cúcuta.

 

After establishing itself in the domestic market, the company is also working to establish its presence across the globe. The firm has joined hands with foreign transmission system operators (TSOs) to implement energy transmission projects. The company recently entered the Brazilian market with the acquisition of a 51 per cent share in the four Brazilian power transmission companies. Under the deal, which cost the company about USD170 billion, the company acquired Transenergía Renovável S.A., Transenergía São Paulo S.A., Goiás Transmissão S.A. and MGE Transmissão S.A.  With this, the company acquired 1,094 km of power transmission network established at 500 kV, 345 kV, 230 kV and 138 kV, located in the states of Espiritu Santo, Goias, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso Do Sul, Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo. The remaining 49 per cent in the Brazilian concessionaries is held by Furnas Central Electric S.A. (Furnas), a subsidiary of Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras S.A. (Eletrobras).

 

The company has also acquired or established assets in Peru and Guatemala. In Peru, it holds a 57.6 per cent share in the country’s power transmission network through two consortiums—Consorcio Transmantaro (CTM), and Red de Energía del Peru (REP). In both the consortiums, the key shareholder is Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA), Colombia’s largest power company, while EEB holds a 40 per cent share. Recently, the two Colombian companies signed a USD250 million loan agreement with Peru’s Banco de Credito del Perú (BCP) to help fund the construction of the 500 kV Mantaro–Marcona–Socabaya–Montalvo line and associated substations; the 220 kV Machupicchu–Abancay–Cotaruse line; the 220 kV La Planicie–Industriales line and associated substations (220 kV); the 220 kV Friaspata–Mollepata line; and the Orcotuna substation.

 

In Guatemala, EEB owns a power transmission project in association with Mexico-based construction firm Edemtec through their consortium Transmisión Eléctrica de Centroamérica’s (TRECSA). In August 2014, the consortium secured a loan worth USD87 million from Citibank to finance the power transmission lines project in Guatemala. These lines are part of the country’s transmission network expansion plan—Plan de Expansión del Sistema de Transporte (PET) 2008–2018. As of 2014, it was also operating or developing 850 km of transmission line network and 12 substations in Guatemala.

 

Existing transmission network in Colombia

As of 2014, EEB’s transmission network assets in Colombia included 1,504 km of lines at 230 kV or higher voltage levels and 16 substations, located in Cundinamarca, Bolívar, Meta, Valle del Cauca, Huila, Putumayo and Nariño. During 2010-13, there was no addition to the company’s transmission line network in Colombia. During 2010-14, only one substation was added to the company’s power transmission network.

 

During 2013-14, some of the projects completed by the company include construction of the Tesalia substation, expansion of the Altamira substation and reconfiguration of the Betania–Jamondino line. For the Tesalia–Alférez line project, the company has received approval from Colombia’s Mining and Energy Planning Unit (UPME) to extend the commissioning date of the project to November 2015. However, it is still awaiting environmental approval from the environmental agency Autoridad Nacional de Licencias Ambientales (ANLA) for the project.

 

Table 1: EEB’s transmission network in Colombia

 

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Line length (km)

1,447

1,447

1,447

1,447

1,504

Number of substations

15

15

16

16

16

Source: EEB

 

EEB has maintained good operational performance over the last three years. Its transmission infrastructure availability has increased consistently, growing from 99.91 per cent in 2012 to 99.94 per cent in 2014. The company’s compliance with its maintenance programme has stayed at 100 per cent since 2012.

 

Table 2:  EEB’s key operational performance indicators

 

2012

2013

2014

Infrastructure availability (%)

99.91

99.91

99.94

Compensation for unavailability (%)

0.086

0.086

0.0257

Maintenance programme compliance (%)

100

100

100

Source: Quarterly investor reports of EEB

 

Financial performance

The company’s income from operations during 2010-14 rose at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.41 per cent from COP932 billion in 2012 to COP2,306 billion in 2014. The cost of sales of the company marked a CAGR of 16.65 per cent during 2010-14. However, the company’s net income has declined over the years from COP1,092 billion in 2010 to COP980 billion in 2014.

 

The firm’s income from transmission has increased significantly over the past five years. It increased from COP94 billion in 2010 to COP124 billion in 2014, registering a CAGR of 7.17 per cent. Meanwhile, the cost of provision of transmission services also increased from COP45 billion to COP50 billion, registering a CAGR of 2.77 per cent.

 

Table 3: Financial performance of EEB (COP billion)

 

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Income from operations

932

1,422

1,585

1,959

2,306

–Transmission income

94

 100

 103

 105

124

Expanses

667

871

1,027

1,045

1,235

–Costs related to transmission

45

 50

53

 47

50

Net profit

1,092

 305

 691

 843

980

Source: Consolidated financial statements and sustainability reports of EEB

 

Future plans and investments

The company is executing several projects to strengthen and expand its transmission system in Colombia. Among EEB’s transmission projects presently under development are the 230 kV Tesalia substation and associated line project; the 230 kV Armenia substation and associated line project; the 230 kV Alférez substation and associated line project; the 230 kV Chivor II, Norte and Bacatá substations and associated lines project; and the 500 kV Sogamoso–Nueva Esperanza transmission line project.

 

UPME recently awarded EEB a project to construct, operate and maintain the 500 kV La Loma substation and associated transmission lines in the municipality of El Paso in the department of El Cesar. The project is expected to solve reliability issues associated with the power network of El Cesar and the whole Colombian Atlantic coast. Operations under this project are expected to commence by November 2016.

 

UPME has also awarded EEB another project, which involves the construction, operation and maintenance of two 220/110 kV transformers in the Rio Cordoba substation. This will help boost the electric power supply in the Magdalena Department.

 

Some of the other key domestic projects being developed by EEB include:

 

Gachancipa substation project: EEB recently awarded a EUR23 million contract to Alstom Grid to supply a 500 kV substation, which will be located at Gachancipa, 30 km north of Bogota, and will connect the Sogamoso hydropower plant to Bogota. The project is expected to be completed by mid-2017. Alstom will be responsible for the design, civil works construction, erection, and commissioning of the 500 kV substation. The solution offered by Alstom includes air-insulated switchgear comprising live tank circuit breakers, disconnectors and instrument transformers.

 

Development of three transmission lines: In March 2015, EEB awarded a EUR44 million transmission line contract to a consortium of Spain-based infrastructure major FCC and Colombia’s engineering, procurement and construction company Electricas de Medellin Comercial (EDEMCO). The contract involves the construction, installation, testing and deployment of three transmission lines, namely, Medellin–Virginia, Virginia–Alferez and Alferez–San Marcos, spanning 390 km, and another double-circuit line connecting the Juanchito–Pance line.

 

Río Córdoba substation project: In October 2014, the company won the Río Córdoba substation project (UPME-06-2014). The project includes design, procurement, construction, operation and maintenance of the 220 kV Rio Cordoba substation and its associated transmission lines in the area of the municipality of Cienaga, Magdalena. The project aims to improve the operational constraints of electricity supply in the Caribbean area, which is currently affected due to exhaustion of the network capacity, growing demand, low voltage and overloading issues.       

 

Sogamoso–Norte–Nueva Esperanza project: In May 2014, the company secured the Sogamoso–Norte–Nueva Esperanza project, which entails an estimated investment of USD171 million. The scope of work under the project includes design, acquisition of supplies, construction, operation and maintenance of the 500 kV Norte substation and the 500 kV Sogamoso–Norte (360 km) and Norte–Nueva Esperanza (124 km) transmission lines. In the same month, the company also secured the second 220 kV Bolívar–Cartagena transmission line project (21 km).

 

Llanos Orientales and Bogota project: In April 2013, the company won an important interconnection project to improve electricity supply in the country’s central region, Llanos Orientales, and the city of Bogota. The project work entails design, procurement of supplies, construction, operation and maintenance of the 230 kV Chivor II and North substations and the double-circuit line of over 160 km, running from the east of the country and connecting to these substations in the western region of the city of Bogota. The project will have a presence in the departments of Boyaca and Cundinamarca.

 

In addition, the company is undertaking the 230 kV Armenia substation project and associated transmission lines; and the Tunal Bogotá static var compensator (SVC) substation construction.

 

Going forward, EEB plans to participate in the bid for the construction of the 500 kV La Loma substation and associated lines, and in the tender for building and maintaining two 100 MVA transformers at the 220/110 kV Río Córdoba substation in Colombia.

 

Table 4: EEB’s key transmission projects

Project Name

Line length (km)

Scheduled start-up

230 kV Armenia substation project and associated transmission lines

39

 

Project in progress (was scheduled to start operations in April 2015)

220 kV Bolívar–Cartagena transmission line

21

March 2017

500 kV Sogamoso–Norte–Nueva Esperanza project 

484

September 2017

Chivor II, Norte and Bacatá substation and associated line project 

160

October 2015

220 kV Río Córdoba substation project 

NA

September 2017

Medellin–Virginia, Virginia–Alferez and Alferez–San Marcos line project

390

NA

230 kV Tesalia-Alférez line project

NA

November 2015

Note: NA – not available

Source: EEB; Global Transmission Research

 

Outlook

The electricity demand in Colombia is projected to grow tremendously over the coming years. Expected power demand in 2022 is estimated to be 40 per cent higher than the current demand. Given this scenario, the country will be focusing on expanding its capacity base and accordingly will have to develop transmission infrastructure. Colombia also has plans to develop new interconnections with its neighbours.

 

Consequently, the firm’s electricity business is expected to pick up on account of acceleration of electricity demand and an increase in the generation capacity of the National Interconnected System. EEB plans a capital investment of approximately USD7.5 billion during 2014-2018 to develop its energy transportation business.

 

(COP1=USD0.00041)