Canada's Just Energy forecasts $250 million loss from frigid Texas weather

(Reuters) – Canadian electricity and gas provider Just Energy on Monday raised doubts about its ability to continue as a going concern, after it forecast a $250 million loss from winter storms sweeping across Texas.

The Ontario-based company, whose biggest shareholder is Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), is the latest Canadian firm to suffer losses related to unusually U.S. cold weather last week. Innergex Renewable Energy and Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp estimated losses related to wind farms.

U.S.-listed shares of Just Energy fell 31%.

Just Energy, which is talking with key stakeholders to address liquidity issues, warned that increased demand for electricity and rolling blackouts have forced it to balance power supply at very high clearing prices.

Electricity prices in Texas soared last week as utilities scrambled to meet a surge in heating demand during the historic winter storm and prompted regulators to cap prices.

An arctic air mass that spread into an area killed at least two dozen people in Texas and knocked out power to more than 4 million. It hit natural gas and electric generation, cutting supplies needed to run the plants along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Nutrien Ltd’s Borger, Texas nitrogen fertilizer plant remains down for a few days after running out of natural gas, said Executive Vice-President of Nitrogen and Phosphate, Raef Sully.

Even so, the company roughly offset production losses with gains it realized by selling some of its gas at higher prices, Sully said.

A winter storm caused power loss to an Enbridge Inc oil pipeline from around Chicago to Cushing, Oklahoma, but it is back online and the Calgary-based company saw no material financial losses, spokeswoman Tracie Kenyon said.

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