Wärtsilä’s first quarter net sales and earnings have been “materially impacted” by the pandemic. Energy equipment deliveries declined due to project timing and coronavirus-related delays, CEO Jaakko Eskola said. Order intake fell 12% to €1,247 million, almost halving the operating result to €56 million.
European responses to contain the coronavirus accelerate the electricity system transition by a decade, Wärtsilä analysis finds. Coal generation collapsed by almost one third in the four weeks prior to April 10 while renewables contributed half of the reduced EU electricity demand, down by on tenth due to the lockdowns.
As the U.S. has become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, grid operators have seen not only reduced weekday electricity demand relative to expectations for this time of year and current weather but also changes in daily electricity usage profiles. The morning peak, for example, is now later and with a more gradual ramp.
Debt financiers of U.S. fracking firms are preparing to directly manage distressed energy assets to avoid debt write-offs in the event of bankruptcies. Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Bank are understood to set up holding companies for distressed oil and gas producers as the industry owes over $200 billion to lenders.
OPEC producers and Russia, supported by the U.S. and Mexico, have agreed to cut output by about 10%, or 9.7 million barrels per day, after demand slumped due to coronavirus lockdowns. Though oil prices did not jump in early trading in Asia today, Wood Mackenzie says the supply cuts will lift oil and gas prices “significantly” starting from the second quarter.