Covanta reports record electricity production for 2019

By Erin Voegele | February 24, 2020

Covanta Holding Corp. produced a record volume of electricity at its energy from waste (EfW) plants last year, according to information released during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call, held Feb. 21.

Stephen Jones, president and CEO of Covanta, said the company sustainably processed a record 21.4 million tons of waste last year. “This was driven by a full-year contribution from the Palm Beach plant acquired in late 2018 and record production at 11 of our facilities, including several of our largest tip fee plants,” he said. “Our plants also produced a record volume of electricity, at almost 10 million megawatt hours (MWh) fleet wide. Tier 2, we saw record production at eight of our plants, including strong production at some of our service fee plants, where much of the energy revenue is shared with our client community.”

Jones also discussed project development activities during the earnings call. Covanta announced a partnership with the U.K.-based Green Investment Group in December 2017. Since that time, the partnership has brought three EfW projects to construction, including the Earls Gate project in late 2018, the Rookery project in March 2019, and the Newhurst project in February 2020. “We now have three projects in construction,” Jones said. A fourth U.K. project, the Protos project, was previously expected to reach financial close by the end of 2019. Jones said the project “remains well-advanced” and noted the primary remaining development efforts for the project relate to securing the necessary EPC arrangement. He said the company will provide further updates, as appropriate, later this year.

Jones said Covanta is continuing to develop its pipeline of projects in the U.K., and said he hopes to be in a position to discuss one or more of those projects in greater detail later this year. He also briefly discussed the possibility of developing additional EfW projects in the U.S. “We remain in active discussions with multiple client communities that are interested in new or replacement EfW capacity,” Jones said.

Covanta reported $1.87 billion in revenue for the full year 2019, up from $1.868 billion in 2018, Net income was $10 million, down from $152 million. Adjusted EBITDA fell to $428 million, down from $457 million in 2018.