Left: Juan Ricardo Ortega López , CEO of Grupo Energía Bogotá
Right: Andrés Escobar Arango, Chairman of the Board of Directors
The year 2020 was a difficult, painful, unique and historic year, which tested us as individuals, companies and society. The COVID-19 pandemic reminded us how vulnerable we are and how important it is to consolidate our bonds of solidarity and empathy in the face of adversity.
That is why, at Grupo Energía Bogotá and its affiliates, we put people and our neighboring communities first. We focused our efforts on protecting the lives of our employees and their families, as well as the life of the communities living in the territories alongside our infrastructure. Our COVID-19 response strategy allowed us to act in a timely manner and guarantee the continuity of electric energy and natural gas services to thousands of homes that, thanks to these services, were able to begin making the transition to this "new normal" without setbacks in terms of supply or stability.
Despite all the efforts and investments made worth over COP 325 billion (COP 860 billion consolidated), only 72 % of the CapEx target was achieved. This will force us to redouble efforts in 2021 to support the national and regional commitment of reactivating the economy and creating jobs.
At GEB, we also suffered the human impacts of COVID-19, but the ongoing solidarity and commitment of our teams enabled us to assist the 300 positive cases that were reported, and thanks to the tireless work and efforts of many people, no lives were lost to this disease among our direct employees. Regrettably, many of us suffered the loss of parents, partners, friends and lifelong partners, which has obviously been difficult. Our hearts and feelings of condolences are with all those who have suffered these losses of loved ones.
Under the principles of mutual care and commitment, and honoring our central value of Primero la Vida (Life Comes First), we have continued to strengthen our culture of Occupational Health and Safety and to ensure the biosafety of our operations. In alignment with Zero Vision, we highlight that we have had no fatal accidents for three years in a row, and our ongoing commitment to achieving zero accidents with serious injuries. We reiterate our full commitment to maintaining excellent operating and financial results and to the continuous improvement of our relations with the environment, always putting people in first place.
We highlight our commitment, by 2030, of contributing to the growth of clean energy sources in the countries where we operate and to react quickly to the implementation and development of capabilities to innovate and develop appropriate solutions demanded by the fast pace of technological change in the energy sector.
At the same time as new alternatives are becoming available for consumers, competition will intensify and investments in electricity transmission and gas transportation will grow rapidly. The digitalization and cybernetic assurance of these infrastructures will be a determinant factor for our competitiveness in Latin America.
At GEB, we are prepared, with top of the line equipment, to contribute to the sector’s competitive and sustainable growth that will significantly contribute to improving the life quality of the people in the countries in which we operate. We have the tools to drive, through the energy sector, the economic reactivation of Colombia, Peru, Guatemala and Brazil, and in the process we will become even stronger as companies and as countries. The continuous improvement of our corporate governance will enable our various shareholders to perceive the transparency and stability of the Group’s strategic plans.
Thanks to the exemplary commitment and the rigorous work of our teams we have achieved highly significant milestones in a very complex and atypical year. In Brazil, for example, through virtual channels, we successfully closed the process to acquire Argo Energía, jointly with the Spanish company Red Eléctrica Internacional. Through this joint venture we will add 1,470 kilometers of transmission lines and a first-ranking team of professionals. In Colombia, with the Transmission operation and TGI, we put into operation new assets that allow us to strengthen the provision and reliability of electric energy and natural gas services, including the expansion of the Cusiana gas pipeline.
Our subsidiary Cálidda, in Peru, installed 93,385 new connections, and now reaches over one million customers in that country. Despite its historical problems, Contugas reached 61,801 connected households and is on track towards achieving new industrial contracts that will ensure its sustainability. The huge pressures of the crisis increased the level of commitment and innovation, and in this process the virtual customer service process at Electro Dunas received recognition as one of the best practices in this regard.
Our engineers set up an oxygen production system to support the health care system in the province of Ica at a time when the pandemic was wreaking havoc in the region, and the strategic alliance with Tesla will enable us to use batteries to supply cheaper electricity in periods of peak demand. In Guatemala, Trecsa reported 86.6 % completion of construction of the Energy Transmission System Expansion Plan (PET, for the Spanish original) in that country, and even more importantly, it restored our credibility, which enabled us to extend the PET for 38 additional months, with important amendments that will ensure the successful completion of this project. On its part Eebis, a Trecsa affiliate, built the transmission circuit for the Southern Pacific region and achieved important agreements with the regulators and all its customers, which will ensure steady cash flows and good profitability.
We allocated COP 10 billion to address the impacts of the pandemic; we initiated strategies to protect biodiversity; we offset 11.5 % of our emissions, and developed social investment and shared value projects that contribute to peace building, facilitate access to natural gas and clean energy, and contribute to quality education in vulnerable areas of Colombia, Peru, and Guatemala.
We are proud of the recognitions we achieved this year, in which we particularly highlight the "Equipares" Silver Seal certification for our commitment to equity and equality awarded to us by the Ministry of Labor. Under the leadership of Mónica Contreras, CEO of TGI, we joined the 30 % initiative to promote the presence of women in management positions throughout the Group. Together with our subsidiary TGI, in Colombia we obtained the "Safe Guard Seal" certification issued by BVQI for our pandemic management and for our full compliance with the requirements of the biosafety system, which is recognized worldwide. Our operating results clearly demonstrate that people are our priority, and this makes us even prouder of our good results.
These and other achievements of our social, financial and operational management, which we present in our 2020 Sustainability Report, are the result of the efforts of more than 2,300 of our people in four countries in the continent. Thanks to their passion for contributing to the Company's development, their integrity and transparency, we were able to guarantee the continuity and excellence of all our operations. Even in the most critical times, we continued to supply electric energy and natural gas to millions of households, and we will continue to contribute to the economic recovery of the regions affected by the crisis. These results were also made possible by the confidence deposited in us by you, our shareholders, who have supported our strategy to continue consolidating our position as leaders in the generation, transportation, transmission, distribution, and supply of electric energy and gas in Latin America.
We know that challenging times lie ahead, not only because of the social and economic setbacks that this pandemic has left behind, but also because of the enormous transformations that the energy sector will undergo in the coming years. Our commitment is to be protagonists of the energy transformation of Latin America and, through energy, to improve lives. We also know how to contribute to the prosperity and development of the citizens in the territories in which we operate. As a Group, we are prepared to continue turning our challenges into opportunities, with an administrative and operating team of the highest level, with empathy and commitment to all those who surround us, and with the support of all our local, national and international partners, and especially of you, our shareholders.
Juan Ricardo Ortega López
CEO of Grupo Energía Bogotá
Andrés Escobar Arango
Chairman of the Board of Directors