Italian electricity demand in free fall, Europe’s second largest utility, Enel, is taking measures in order to reduce its soaring debt. Plans include selling off assets worth €6 billion, mothballing surplus capacity and job cuts.
Enel SpA saw a 79% drop in earnings during 2012. The gloomy economic outlook and strenuous trading conditions in Italy and Spain (Enel controls 92% of Spanish utility Endesa) leaves little hope for recovery before 2017. CEO Fulvio Conti stated that Enel forecasts a 2017 installed capacity in Italy and Spain of around 52, which will mark a sharp decline compared to the 59 GW in 2012. The company is shifting its investment priorities to growth markets, such as South America and Eastern Europe.