The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an additional burden on the company’s liquidity and undermined the country's sustainable supply of energy. A slowdown in economic activities has led to a decrease in demand for electricity and gas, particularly from commercial and industrial customers, which accounts for 60-65% of customers. Besides, movement restrictions have hampered the company’s capacity to collect receivables from its customers. Finally, the Government announced a temporary suspension of bill payment obligation for households for two months (March and April).
All these factors combined have contributed to a significant drop in revenue while STEG was obligated to pay suppliers and contractors to maintain uninterrupted supply.
Since 2018, ITFC has provided STEG with short term financing, worth an overall US$ 704 million. ITFC facility aims at ensuring electricity supply continuity by helping STEG address short-term liquidity shortfall and secure the supply of natural gas. In 2020, the Corporation extended around US$ 278 million to STEG for the purchase of 1,254,858,520 cm3 of LNG. In 2020, STEG could rely less on natural gas imports, with approximately a 34% reduction compared to the previous year and higher percentages of national natural gas.
The disbursements in 2020 increased by 25% compared to 2019, despite natural gas demand being adversely impacted by the Pandemic. This just reflects ITFC position as a reliable financial partner in times of need.