April 2 (Renewables Now) - Spanish utility giant Iberdrola SA (BME:IBE) plans to invest EUR 10 billion (USD 10.85bn) in 2020 in response to the economic uncertainty brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the group’s chairman, Ignacio Galan, announced at the shareholders’ meeting today.
The record investment amount -- it reached EUR 8.15 billion in 2019 -- will serve to bring online at least half of 9 GW of new capacity currently under construction by the end of the year.
Iberdrola said it is making progress on 30 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, 50 onshore wind projects, offshore wind projects in Europe and the US, the Tamega hydroelectric storage complex in Portugal, high voltage transmission lines in Brazil and new distribution networks in the US states of New York, Maine and Connecticut.
Galan said the company went ahead and placed over EUR 3.8 billion worth of orders to thousands of suppliers as part of its procurement plan with which it seeks to revive the economy and stop job losses. This year’s hiring drive is expected to bring in 5,000 new recruits.
Iberdrola affirmed the full-year guidance with Galan saying that the current data suggest that the 2020 net profit may surpass last year’s earnings, even when costs of medical supplies and protective gear donated for the Spanish health care system are accounted for.
Due to strict social distancing measures in place in Spain, the annual meeting was held remotely with only Ignacio Galan and board secretary Julian Martinez-Simancas physically present at a conference room at the Iberdrola Tower in Bilbao.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.085)