Italy's A2A to spend 16 billion euros in green drive

MILANO (Reuters) - Italy’s largest regional utility A2A will spend 16 billion euros ($19.45 billion) between now and 2030 to cut its carbon footprint and grow its waste and water business.

Under its new 10-year plan, the Milan-based utility said it aimed to cut its carbon emissions by 47% from 2017 levels and to triple its renewable capacity to 5.7 gigawatts through more than 4 billion euros of investments and acquisitions.

The group, which has about 970 megawatts of coal capacity, said it aimed to phase out its coal-fired plants in 2022, ahead of a national target set for 2025.

It will spend 6 billion euros on its waste management and water businesses and aims to become a significant European player.

“These are the solid foundations that will allow us to create strategic, innovative and essential infrastructures for the growth and relaunch of the country, to be ambitious and to look to Europe,” A2A CEO Renato Mazzoncini said.

At 1005 GMT A2A shares were up over 4%.

Utilities across Europe are investing in renewable energy and grids as governments seek to electrify economies to meet climate targets.

A2A, controlled by the cities of Milan and Brescia, said it would more than double its core earnings to 2.5 billion euros at the end of the plan from the 1.18 billion euros it expects for 2020. Net profit will grow more than 8% per year.

Growing margins will allow it to increase its dividend for 2020 to at least 8 euro cents and at least 8.2 euro cents for 2021, it said.

The utility, which plans to create 6,000 new jobs over the plan period, said that after 2022, dividends would grow by at least 3% per year.

“...targets for the next 3 years are quite aligned with the consensus, while the company forecasts really aggressive growth assumptions beyond... There is a remarkable increase in the total projected capex,” Mediobanca Securities said.

Reporting by Giancarlo Navach, writing by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Giulia Segreti and Barbara Lewis