|By Marketwired .||
|June 25, 2014 05:05 PM EDT||
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND -- (Marketwired) -- 06/25/14 -- Etrion Corporation (Etrion or the Company) (TSX: ETX)(OMX: ETX), a solar independent power producer, provides an update on the Company's Italian operations and schedules an investor conference call at 10:00 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) / 16:00 Central European Time (CET) on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
Italian Government Proposal
On June 24, 2014, the Italian government published a new decree outlining, among other things, certain proposed changes to the current Italian Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) regime. This decree, effective June 25, 2014, is subject to Parliamentary approval, which is expected to take place within 60 days of the decree's publication, during which time, the new decree may be amended or fully rejected.
The Italian FiT currently entails a 20-year commitment from the Italian state-owned company, Gestore Servizi Energetici (GSE), to pay a constant premium rate for all solar electricity produced at a fixed rate defined on the basis of the connection date. Etrion's Italian solar parks have an average residual incentive period of 16 years. In addition to the FiT, solar power generators in Italy receive the spot market rate for all solar electricity produced. In 2013, the spot market accounted for approximately 15% of Etrion's Italian revenues.
The proposed changes would impact the revenues received by solar power producers by reducing the annual FiT incentive to be paid by the GSE. Specifically, the proposal outlines a reduction of the original FiT, effective January 2015, between 17% and 25%, depending on the remaining incentive period, offset by an extension of the incentive period from 20 to 24 years. Alternatively, solar power producers can voluntarily elect a flat 8% reduction of the FiT for the remaining incentive period without an extension. In addition, the new decree introduces certain changes to the payment of the FiT, starting July 2014, whereby approximately 10% is delayed until June of the following year.
The final implementation of the law is uncertain, and it is possible that changes to the new decree may be introduced by Parliament. Etrion is working closely with legal advisors and project lenders to assess the implications of the proposed decree.
Marco A. Northland, the Company's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "I am very disappointed with the measures proposed by the Italian government and the impact this could have on the solar market and foreign direct investment in Italy. Although this proposed decree is not yet final, we have started to analyse the potential impact such decree may have on our Italian portfolio and are exploring options to best optimize the economics given Etrion's strong track record in Italy and above expectation performance. The proposed changes highlight the importance of our strategy shift two years ago to diversify into new markets with different contract regimes."
Mr. Northland continued, "All of our growth plans today are focused on countries outside of Europe, and Italy represents less than 50% of our expected installed capacity in 2015. In Chile, construction of the 70 MW Project Salvador is ahead of schedule, and we expect to begin generating electricity by the end of Q4-2014. In Japan, we expect to reach financial close on our first two projects with a combined capacity of 34 MW by the end of Q3-2014 and begin construction by the end of the year."
Investor Conference Call
A conference call/webcast to discuss the proposed changes will be held on Thursday, June 26, 2014, at 10:00 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) / 16:00 Central European Time (CET).
North America and International: +1-647-788-4922 / Toll Free: +1-877-223-4471 / Sweden Toll Free: 02-079-4343
A replay of the telephone conference will be available until July 3, 2014.
Replay dial-in details:
North America and International: +1-416-621-4642 / Toll Free: +1-800-585-8367
Pass code for replay: 64704761
Etrion Corporation is an independent power producer that builds, owns and operates utility-scale solar power generation plants. Etrion owns 17 solar power plants in Italy with approximately 60 MW of installed capacity. Etrion is also developing greenfield solar power projects in Chile and Japan. The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada and the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm exchange in Sweden under ticker symbol "ETX". Etrion's largest shareholder is the Lundin family, which owns approximately 24% of the Company's shares directly and through various trusts.
Etrion discloses the information provided herein pursuant to the Swedish Securities Market Act. The information was submitted for publication at 23:05 CET on June 25, 2014.
This press release contains certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements relating to the proposed changes to the Italian FiT regime and the development and timing of the Company's projects in Chile and Japan) constitute forward-looking information. This forward-looking information reflects the current expectations or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to the Company as well as certain assumptions including, without limitation, assumptions with respect to the changes to the Italian FiT regime going into effect and the ability of the Company to obtain required permits for its projects in a timely fashion and project financing on economic terms. Reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is subject to a number of significant risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking information, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on the Company. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to, the possibility that the changes to the Italian FiT regime will differ significantly from those currently proposed, uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of all applicable permits for the development of the Company's projects, the risk that the Company may not be able to obtain project financing on economic terms and the risk of delays in construction of the Company's projects.
Any forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking information are reasonable, forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such information due to the inherent uncertainty therein.
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