Mainz Stadtwerke: Confidence despite Corona

Business areas such as energy supply ensure a positive balance in the Stadtwerke high-rise.  Photo: Harald Kaster

Business areas such as energy supply ensure a positive balance in the Stadtwerke high-rise.
(Photo: Harald Kaster)

MAINZ – Without the parent company Stadtwerke, Mainz Mobility (MM) could hardly survive the Corona crisis financially, said Daniel Gahr. The CEO of Mainzer Stadtwerke (MSW) presented the 2019 business results on Thursday after the supervisory board meeting and took a look at the effects of the pandemic on the municipal stock corporation.

The 2019 financial year was “very successful” for MSW with an annual result of 17.2 million euros, emphasized Gahr. “That is around 3.1 million euros more than in the previous year.” MSW transferred 15 million euros to the city in concession fees, and the city holding Zentrale Beteiligungsgesellschaft Mainz (ZBM) received 6.5 million euros in dividends. In addition, MSW made up for MM’s deficit of 16.5 million euros.

For 2020, Gahr expects MM with a deficit of 25.7 million euros due to the corona-related decrease in passenger numbers. Currently, the number of passengers is around 45 to 50 percent compared to the previous year. “I’m worried about how public transport will develop in the future,” said the MSW boss.

It will therefore be checked which planned MM projects should be postponed. This includes the use of four self-driving “Emma” minibuses or the “digital bus stops” project (digital displays instead of paper timetables).

Whether a 365-euro annual ticket will be introduced in the near future, which, according to Gahr, would only make sense as a joint, regional solution with neighboring cities, is rather uncertain: “I don’t see that at the moment.”

The closure of the Taubertsberg sports pool since mid-March has also resulted in a loss of income for the subsidiary Mainzer Stadtbad GmbH, albeit to a far lesser extent than the public transport.

Despite Corona, Gahr sees the MSW well equipped for future tasks. The chairman of the supervisory board, Lord Mayor Michael Ebling (SPD), emphasized the importance of the municipal utilities for ensuring, among other things, the electricity, water and gas supply as well as the public transport even during the pandemic. “The municipal utilities are responsible for the secure communal services of general interest, support the regional economy with their investments in the double-digit million range and drive the development of Mainz.” That cannot be overestimated. “And last but not least, the profits will benefit the citizens of our city.”

The Stadtwerke invested around 31.1 million euros in the expansion and maintenance of the networks last year, reported MSW board member Dr. Tobias Brosze. One focus was on high investments in the water sector, especially against the background of the three hot years of 2017, 2018 and 2019. The development in the new development areas of Zollhafen and Heiligkreuz-Viertel (HKV) continues to be positive. The municipal utilities account for 26 building plots in HKV, five of which have already been sold. In the city quarter of Zollhafen, 24 of 30 building plots have been marketed to investors and property developers across Germany.

In the renewable energies business area, MSW AG has a direct or indirect stake in around 200 photovoltaic systems and 110 wind turbines through subsidiaries and affiliates. There are also twelve hydropower plants along the Ruhr and the Sieg. The MSW share of the electricity generated by these renewable energy systems amounts to around 370 million kilowatts per year – “In purely mathematical terms, the MSW can supply all Mainz households with electricity from renewable energies with this amount,” says Brosze. The income would have contributed to the good annual result.

In 2019, Pionext Asset GmbH & CO was founded. KG together with the EWR from Worms and the Pfalzwerke Ludwigshafen. The goal: The three municipal companies bundle the commercial and technical operation of their existing around 500 wind and photovoltaic systems. In addition, the three municipal utilities would like to jointly advance new wind power and photovoltaic systems in the next few years.

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