Anti-corruption requests 84.8 million fine for Iberdrola Generación for crime against the market

Elizabeth VegaCONTINUEMadrid Updated: 06/27/2022 14:35h

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office requests that Iberdrola Generación be sentenced to pay a fine of more than 84.8 million euros and its top management in 2013, specifically Ángel Chiarri, Gregorio Relaño, José Luis Rapún and Javier Paradinas, face two years in prison for manipulating the price of hydraulic energy to the detriment of the consumer. They are accused of a crime against the market for having artificially raised 7,156 euros per megawatt/hour in the winter of 2013 to a loss of more than 107 million euros, which, for the most part, was borne by consumers.

The indictment, presented before the Central Court of Instruction number 2 of the National High Court, maintains that "Iberdrola, in order to cause an increase in the price of electricity and harm consumers, devised and put into operation a system to increase the price of the energy it sold, beyond what should result from the free concurrence of supply and demand.

Specifically, it states that "in order to obtain this higher price in the electricity market, from November 30, 2013 and until December 23, 2013, the price of the corresponding electricity offers increased, without legitimate cause to justify it. to its hydroelectric plants in Duero, Sil and Tajo, at a level above the daily market price”, a situation that determined the withdrawal of the programming of the aforementioned plants, that is, they stopped producing energy.

It points out that while in that period, 32.54% of the energy dispatched -183.7 GW- was in a price band above 80 euros per megawatt/hour and 94.33 percent of the energy not dispatched exceeded that price, in the period just before the dispatched offer did not exceed 70 euros and 91.48% of the total, was in a band that did not exceed 50 euros.

"Iberdrola, breaking the order of merit of the plants in the production dispatch, caused the reduction of electricity generation of the Duero, Sil and Tajo hydroelectric plants, and, as a consequence, that the purchase operations were matched with the energy coming from of combined cycle plants, with a higher cost and in a higher price range situated between €80/90/MWh compared to the average price of energy from hydroelectric plants located at €45/55/MWh », says the Anti-corruption letter.

The consequence, according to the account of the Prosecutor's Office, of this "artifice devised and carried out by the accused was the increase in the price of electricity by at least 7,156 euros per megawatt/hour", which caused damage to the demand for "at least 107,340,000 euros". The company thus obtained a profit of more than 21.2 million euros.

Compensation to marketers and users

The letter, signed by the number two of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, Antonio Romeral, details that 18 marketers were harmed by 10.5 million euros. “The rest of the damage caused, up to 107,340,000 euros, was borne by consumers with variable-price contracts, and in fixed-price contracts by the insurance companies that covered them,” he specifies.

He requests for Chiarri, Relaño, Rapún and Paradinas two years in prison and fines that amount to 144,000 euros in each case. In the case of Iberdrola Generación, a fine of 84,891,272 euros is requested, four times the profit obtained, and the confiscation of the profits from the operation.

In addition, the prosecutor requests that the four and the company must compensate up to a maximum of 107,340,000 euros, jointly and severally, to the affected electricity marketers "and to the rest of the natural and legal persons who prove, as final consumers of energy or guarantors of energy prices, having suffered or been affected by the increase in energy prices in the period from November 30 to December 23, 2013, both inclusive.

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