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Italy’s A2A trims green investment plan citing economy, volatile markets

by uma
gawdo

(Reuters) -Italy’s largest regional utility A2A on Tuesday scaled back its investments aimed at reducing its carbon footprint, as volatility in energy markets prompted the company to rethink investment plans, sending shares down as much as 6%.

The Milan-based utility said it now planned to invest 16 billion euros ($16.53 billion) by 2030 to focus on circular economy and energy transition projects, rather than 18 billion euros previously indicated.

Intesa Sanpaolo’s analysts said the new spending target reflected changed economic conditions, while Equita noted the absence of proposed a dividend policy, due to be confirmed at the plan presentation later on Wednesday.

The regional utility had last updated its strategy in January, when it raised by 12.5% to 18 billion euros planned capital spending aimed at reducing its carbon footprint while targeting a core profit of 2.9 billion euros by 2030.

This year “has been characterized by a complex geopolitical and economic situation and a volatile energy scenario,” A2A Chief Executive Renato Mazzoncini said in a statement.

“In the light of this context, we have decided to update our Plan to continue guaranteeing the Group’s solidity and face the upcoming challenges,” he added.

Italy’s economy minister said in September that net energy import costs were set to more than double this year to nearly 100 billion euros, warning Rome could not spend indefinitely to cushion the blow on the economy.

Italy relies on imports for three-quarters of its power consumption, increasing its vulnerability to Europe’s current energy crisis.

By 0834 GMT the stock was down 4.7% at 1.24 euros per share, the worst performer on Italy’s blue chip index, which was losing 0.7%.

($1 = 0.9681 euros)

(Reporting by Jose Joseph and Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru, Federica Urso in Gdansk; Editing by Leslie Adler, Stephen Coates and Tomasz Janowski)

 

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