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TransAlta Corp. - Q1-2017 Earnings & Outlook

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TransAlta operates as a wholesale power generator, marketer and energy trader, with facilities located in Canada, the US, and Australia With interest in more than 70 power generation facilities located in Canada, US and Australia including TransAlta's 60% interest in TransAlta Renewables (RNW). Operations are organized into 6 segments: Canadian coal fuelled operations contributed 30% of AFFO, Canadian Natural gas at 29%, Wind and Solar at 23%, Gas Fuelled operations in Australia at 10%, with the balance split between US coal and Hydro generation. Total assets are $10B with debt of $3.7B compared to $4.5B at Dec-31-2015. By location, 76% of capacity is located in Canada, 18% in the US and 6% in Australia.

Results are seasonal due to the nature of the electricity market and related fuel costs. Higher maintenance costs are usually incurred in the second and third quarters when electricity prices are expected to be lower, as electricity prices generally increase in the winter months in the Canadian market. Margins are also typically impacted in the second quarter due to the volume of hydro production resulting from spring runoff and rainfall in the Canadian and U.S. markets.

They own interests in 72 generating facilities as of Jun-30-2016 (Jun-30-2015, 64). Coal fired facilities of which 5 are located in Alberta and one in Washington state comprise 57% of capacity, natural gas fuels 12 facilities in Canada and Australia comprising 19% of capacity of which 70% is owned by TransAlta Renewables(RNW). Wind and solar production contribute 14% of capacity of which 90% is owned through TransAlta Renewables. Hydro power contributes 10% of productive capacity located mainly in Alberta. In Alberta they own interests in the Genessee 3 facility, Sundance, Sheerness, Keephills and Keephills 3 facilities. These are all coal fired, the largest facility is Sundance at 1,581MW. Located 50 kilometers southwest of Edmonton, adjacent to Capital Power's Genesee generating station, the 450-megawatt Genessee 3 power plant is a joint venture between TransAlta and Capital Power Inc. (CPX). Capital Power operates the merchant plant. The Sheerness facility is 25% owned by TransAlta and the balance by Atco Power Ltd. a wholly owned subsidiary of Atco Ltd. (ACO). In the US the principal facilities include a 1,340 MW coal facility the 248 MW natural gas-fired facility; both located in Centralia, Washington.

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