(Recasts, adds CEO comments, shares)
MILAN, May 6 (Reuters) - Enel Green Power, controlled by Italian utility Enel, is considering selling assets in Portugal as it looks for opportunities to expand in emerging markets, it said on Thursday.
Italy’s biggest green energy company said it will spend an overall 9.6 billion euros ($10.8 billion) in the next five years to help to lift core earnings after an expected dip this year.
The company said it expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciatiion and amortisation (EBITDA) to fall 5 percent to 1.8 billion euros this year before rising to about 2.1 billion euros in 2017.
Enel Green Power is developing a range of green technologies across fast-growing emerging markets including Latin America and Africa, though some analysts have expressed concern about potential returns on new projects as competition increases.
In its business plan to 2019, the company said it would earmark 8.8 billion euros of its total spend to fund 7,100 megawatts of additional installed capacity and bankroll expansion, with a focus on Mexico, Chile and Brazil.
In April CEO Francesco Venturini told Reuters the company was stepping up its expansion in Africa and would turn to Asia next.
Renewable energy is expected to account for about 50 percent of additional electricity supply worldwide in the period 2013 to 2030, the company said, with very strong growth in power demand in Africa, India and China.
Venturini said the company is considering disposal of its Portuguese portfolio but added that Europe is becoming more interesting because of low interest rates and the European Union’s increasingly attractive policy on renewable energy.
The company said it is considering acquisitions in markets that are fragmented and moving towards consolidation.
At 1225 GMT Enel Green Power shares were up 0.6 percent in a European utility sector up 0.4 percent. ($1 = 0.8871 euros)
Reporting by Stephen Jewkes and Alberto Sisto; Editing by David Goodman