Romania's Nuclearelectrica gets investment grade rating from Fitch
State-controlled nuclear group Nuclearelectrica, the operator of the country's sole nuke plant in Cernavoda on the Danube, was evaluated for the first time by the international rating agency Fitch, which assigned the company a BBB- rating (lowest in the investment-grade area) with a negative outlook. The grade is in line with Romania's sovereign rating.
The rating reflects Nuclearelectrica's strong market position as the sole producer of electricity from nuclear power plants in Romania, covering around 20% of the country's electricity demand, a solid operational record and a strong financial profile. This results in the assessment of the company's Standalone Credit Profile (SCP) at BBB-.
Nuclearelectrica's negative outlook mirrors that of the sovereign as its rating would be constrained by the sovereign rating of Romania (BBB-/Negative) if the latter is downgraded. This reflects the rating agency's assessment of the links between the company and the government, its majority shareholder, as strong.
Fitch sees the new windfall tax impact as limited: the Romanian government has recently introduced a windfall tax of 80% on electricity producers, with the exception for power plants that run on fossil fuels, on revenues from prices higher than EUR 91 per MWh (around RON 450 per MWh). This measure will apply till the end-March 2022.
"We expect this to have limited impact on Nuclearelectrica's financial profile at present as our current electricity price assumptions are below this level," the rating agency says.
(Photo source: Nuclearelectrica.ro)