This year’s “meeting” is admittedly a very different one. The global public health crisis, an unprecedented situation that has had far-reaching economic implications, has drastically changed – literally overnight – habits and norms fully associated with human existence and function as the latter has evolved over time.
However, what I strongly believe that remains unchanged is the sense of mutual trust that has united us all for years now. The trust you have shown all these years is for all of us at TERNA ENERGY a strong guidance, as well as a source of inspiration and creation. And I am absolutely certain that you, as well, feel that we are reciprocating your trust with all our strength, meaning with very hard work, with positive results for years now, with satisfactory returns and also with prudent Management.
I want to assure you that even in this difficult period, the people of TERNA ENERGY continue to work with zeal, dedication and responsibility to address this particular situation and ensure the further growth of our Group. The health and safety of our employees and partners has been and remains our top priority and we have managed to ensure at the same time the highest possible level of safety for all our people and the smoothest possible operation of our company.
The so-called clean energy sector in which our company holds a leading position in Greece and abroad is now a global priority. At the same time, it also emerges as a wise business and investment decision in the conditions of the pandemic we are currently experiencing. We now believe more than ever that it is extremely important for our country to continue its shift towards a greener and more sustainable development model. This is imperative not only for environmental and social reasons but also for purely economic ones. RES investments can and should be a key driver for the recovery of the Greek economy in the post-COVID19 era for a number of reasons:
2019 was a positive year, as our Group’s international presence and continued investment plan enabled us to grow the revenues and profits of the company as well as the installed capacity However now, we are faced with an unprecedented double crisis – both public health and economic – whose duration and effects are difficult to estimate. On the other hand, the Group’s business activity, the qualitative economic characteristics of electricity production from RES, the Group’s international presence and the key financial performance allow us to be relatively optimistic. We remain committed to supporting our Group’s activities and of course the Greek economy with all our strength and for this reason we daily monitor and evaluate the developments, insisting on our goal of implementing our investment plan as seamlessly as possible.
In this context, we recently announced the extension of our investment program in the Greek RES market by 550 million Euros. The total amount of investments that we have planned and are launching for clean energy in Greece now exceeds 1.5 billion Euros.
This is an important investment program, implemented in an extremely critical time. These investments show our faith in the potential as well as in the prospects of the Greek economy, and our strong commitment to high domestic value added investments in clean energy and energy storage facilities, for the benefit of the economy, employment, the environment and all citizens.
Moreover, these investments will significantly contribute in achieving the national renewable energy deployment targets as well as the objectives of our country’s decarbonisation program and progressive withdrawal from fossil fuel use. I would like to reiterate that at this time, more than ever, our country needs investments that will create many well-paid jobs, and as we have been pointing out for years, Greek companies must be at the forefront of this endeavor.
From our side, we can proudly say that we will actively help once again! We will continue to do what we did during the big economic crisis that our country went through in the last decade. We will continue to invest in Greece and the clean energy sector, for the benefit of our country, all of you, our shareholders and our employees, but also to constantly and uninterruptedly maintain all of our cash position within the Greek banking system.
Hard work brings results. And we are happy that we are achieving much earlier than originally planned the goals we have set. With the new investments we just announced, the total capacity of RES installations operated, constructed or fully licensed by TERNA ENERGY Group currently reaches 1,938 MW bringing the target of reaching 2,000 MW much closer and ahead of schedule.
At the same time, we continue our investments in other fields of activity, in addition to RES electricity production and storage, via new investments in environmental and waste management projects, where we soon hope to commence the construction phase of the integrated waste management project of Peloponnese Region.
But we do not stop here. We continue to explore and evaluate new investment opportunities in Greece and abroad, looking into technological developments on a daily basis so that TERNA ENERGY can remain at the forefront of the clean energy and the circular economy.
I would also like to underline something that is of interest for all our shareholders. In addition to the positive results and the fulfillment of our business and investment goals, we show in practice our respect for you, safeguarding your interests over time and through the systematic distribution of capital. In this context, this year the total cash payments to our shareholders will be increased by approximately 15% compared to 2019, a year in which those payments were also higher by about 15% (compared to 2018).
We look to the future with cautious optimism and we are committed to continuing the effort with even greater intensity than usual, to achieve the best possible results for all of us and for our national economy. I hope that we may all get together soon, healthy, and up close.
I warmly thank you.
Chairman of TERNA ENERGY Group