UPDATE 1-Origin Energy expects $1.7 bln in charges this year on bleak power price view

·1 min read

(Adds details on impairment, forecast)

July 30 (Reuters) - Power and gas retailer Origin Energy said on Friday it expects a A$2.25 billion ($1.67 billion) charge in its fiscal 2021 and lower core earnings in its energy markets business for the next two years due to dour outlook for energy prices.

The charge consists of a A$1.58 billion post-tax impairment in its power generation business, reflecting the lower value of Australia's biggest coal-fired power station, Eraring, and a tax expense of A$669 million.

The impairments come as Origin's power business faces pressure from the rapid influx of wind and solar power into Australia's grid, hurting electricity prices and margins.

Origin expects underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) from its energy markets unit of A$450 million to A$600 million for fiscal 2022, much lower than the A$1 billion to A$1.14 billion forecast for 2021.

In fiscal 2023, EBITDA for the business is expected to rebound slightly to between A$600 million and A$850 million.

Separately, Origin reported a 17% drop in its fourth-quarter revenue from its stake in the Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) project, hurt by lower realised oil prices. ($1 = 1.3510 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Savyata Mishra, Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru and Sonali Paul in Melbourne; Editing by Maju Samuel and Subhranshu Sahu)

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