Drought hedge for power trading company

Background: Brazil, the world's third largest producer of hydropower, is slowly recovering from the worst drought it has suffered in 40 years. Since 2013, hydropower generation, which makes up almost 70% of the country's energy supply, has decreased drastically due to the lack of water in major reservoirs. To compensate for the production shortfall, thermoelectric plants, which are more expensive to operate, have had to be brought on line. As a result, energy prices have soared and many players in the energy markets have suffered severe losses.

Risk-transfer solution: An energy trading company wanted a hedge against drought risk. A customized derivative solution based on an index which measures the energy obtained from a river's natural flow was developed. The index is calculated daily by an independent body responsible for coordinating and controlling electricity generation and transmission facilities in Brazil. If the index falls below a defined threshold, the derivative pays financial compensation.

Benefits: The index-based deal hedged the trading company's position against drought risk – its most important weather-related risk – hence stabilising its expected future earnings.

In our newest sigma 05/17 "Commercial Insurance: innovating to expand the scope of insurability" you can read more examples of innovative insurance solutions we have developed to protect our clients from earnings and cash flow risks.

Your risks are unique. Sometimes you need an innovative solution, not a conventional risk transfer product. At Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, we understand that the traditional market doesn't always meet your needs. That's why we use our risk capital to create smart, creative solutions to the most challenging risks around.

Learn more about our Innovative Risk Solutions.