(Releads, adds CEO comments)
By Stephen Jewkes
MILAN, July 28 (Reuters) - Power grid company Terna is looking to develop new business outside Italy by working with oil major Eni and renewable energy group Enel Green Power on power line projects in places like Latin America and Africa.
Terna, one of Europe’s biggest power grid operators, raises most of its revenues from power transmission in Italy by developing the domestic grid and making it more efficient.
The company owned a power grid in Brazil but sold it in 2009.
Terna is building a transmission grid for Enel Green Power in Chile as part of a memorandum of agreement signed between the two companies earlier this year, Terna Chief Executive Matteo Del Fante said in a conference call on Tuesday.
“This could be the first step to build business outside Italy,” he said.
He added that Terna was participating in one or two additional projects with Enel Green Power, Italy’s biggest renewable energy company controlled by utility Enel.
“We are also working with Eni (on power line projects)... mainly in Africa,” he said.
Terna has said it is ready to play a role in integrating Europe’s power transmission networks.
Last year it expressed an interest in buying a 66 percent stake in Greek power grid ADMIE before privatisation in the country was halted.
Since then the Greek government has said it is restarting the state asset sale programme. Del Fante said the dossier was not formally back on the table.
Terna is currently carrying out due diligence on high-voltage power line assets belonging to the Italian railways, which the government plans to privatise next year and which could be worth up to 1 billion euros.
Earlier on Tuesday the company, which has China’s State Grid Corp as one of its leading shareholders, said its core earnings in the first six months rose 1.9 percent to 766.6 million euros.
Net profit in the period rose 13.1 percent to 309.9 million euros after the scrapping of a so-called Robin Hood Tax that had been slapped on Italian utilities to raise cash for state coffers. ($1 = 0.9072 euros) (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Valentina Za and Susan Thomas)