Challenges for new EPM head

Company News    Apr 7, 2021 4:48 PM

EPM announced its new General Manager, after 64 days of interim status.

The economist Alejandro Calderón was appointed as General Manager of EPM, Portafolio reported.

Calderón will have the great challenge of overcoming the institutional crisis that is affecting the group’s operations and finances.

The new manager will have to maintain the conglomerate’s credit rating, move forward with the Afinia brand, improve energy service on the Caribbean coast, and put Hidroituango into operation.

EPM estimates that Hidroituango will enter operation in 2022, and 100% of the project will be ready by 2024. This plant will be vital to guarantee the reliability of the national energy system since it will deliver 17% of the electricity that the country needs.

Another challenge for Calderón, as the organization’s new manager, will be to develop the operation of the energy market in the departments of Córdoba, Sucre, Bolívar, and Cesar, and solve the problems inherited from Electricaribe.

“We receive an affected market in financial terms as it is the product of energy losses, low collection levels and poor service provision in terms of continuity and reliability. It is a long-term project to ultimately achieve both operational and financial sustainability,” Afinia’s Blanca Ruiz said.

The main challenge for the new manager will be the rating agencies, and this is related to corporate governance.

Both Moody’s and Fitch analyzed EPM’s corporate crisis, taking into consideration the conglomerate’s credit rating in August 2020. The re-rating was due to the CoP$9.9T lawsuit against the consortium that built Hidroituango and the massive resignation of eight of the nine members of the Board.

Bottom-Line: Finally, EPM announces a permanent manager to face its great challenges. Appointing someone from finance rather than operations (as the interim manager was) shows the depth of the problem the company has with rating agencies and investors.

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