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Gas Fired Power Plants: Investment Timing, Operating Flexibility and Abandonment

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  • Stein-Erik Fleten

    (Norwegian University of Science & Technology)

  • Erkka Näsäkkälä

    (Helsinki University of Technology)

Abstract

We analyze investments in gas fired power plants under stochastic electricity and gas prices. We use a real options approach, taking into account the economic information in futures and forward prices. A simple but realistic two-factor model is used for price process, enabling analysis of the value of operating flexibility, the opportunity to sell and abandon the capital equipment, as well as finding thresholds for energy prices for which it is optimal to enter into the investment. Our case study, using real data, indicates that when the decision to build is considered, the plant’s flexibility and abandonment option do not have significant value.

Suggested Citation

  • Stein-Erik Fleten & Erkka Näsäkkälä, 2004. "Gas Fired Power Plants: Investment Timing, Operating Flexibility and Abandonment," Finance 0404010, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0404010 Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 29
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Abadie, Luis M. & Chamorro, José M., 2008. "Valuing flexibility: The case of an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle power plant," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1850-1881, July.
    2. Siddiqui, Afzal S. & Maribu, Karl, 2009. "Investment and upgrade in distributed generation under uncertainty," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 25-37, January.
    3. Denny Ellerman, 1998. "Note on The Seemingly Indefinite Extension of Power Plant Lives, A Panel Contribution," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    4. Majd, Saman & Pindyck, Robert S., 1987. "Time to build, option value, and investment decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 7-27, March.
    5. Eduardo Schwartz & James E. Smith, 2000. "Short-Term Variations and Long-Term Dynamics in Commodity Prices," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(7), pages 893-911, July.
    6. Robert McDonald & Daniel Siegel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-727.
    7. David Heath & Robert Jarrow & Andrew Morton, 2008. "Bond Pricing And The Term Structure Of Interest Rates: A New Methodology For Contingent Claims Valuation," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Financial Derivatives Pricing Selected Works of Robert Jarrow, chapter 13, pages 277-305 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. Nasakkala, Erkka & Fleten, Stein-Erik, 2005. "Flexibility and technology choice in gas fired power plant investments," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 371-393.
    9. Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1997. " The Stochastic Behavior of Commodity Prices: Implications for Valuation and Hedging," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 923-973, July.
    10. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1987. "Commodity Futures Prices: Some Evidence on Forecast Power, Premiums,and the Theory of Storage," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(1), pages 55-73, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Matilda Orth & Niklas Rudholm, 2010. "Opening Local Retail Food Stores: A Real-Options Approach," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 373-387, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Real options; spark spread; gas fired power plant; forward prices;

    JEL classification:

    • G - Financial Economics

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