Italy's A2A scales down investments to 16 bln euros by 2030 to cut carbon footprint

Nov 22 (Reuters) – Italy’s largest regional utility A2A on Tuesday scaled back its investments aimed at cutting its carbon footprint, as volatility in energy markets prompted the company to rethink investment plans.

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

The regional utility had last updated its strategy for 2030 in January, when it stepped up proposed capital spending by 12.5% to 18 billion euros aiming to cut its carbon footprint while targeting a core profit of 2.9 billion euros at the end of the period.

Investors have welcomed A2A’s decision to bring forward the next plan’s update to November from January 2023, saying it would help to provide clarity on the backdrop of extremely volatile energy markets.

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 had said earlier in September that net energy import costs are set to more than double this year to nearly 100 billion euros ($99.5 billion), 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.

Reporting by Jose Joseph and Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler and Stephen Coates

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.