EQTEC plc (AIM: EQT), a world-leading technology innovation company enabling the Net Zero Future through advanced solutions for hydrogen, biofuels, SNG and other energy production is pleased to provide the following trading update for Q4 2021.
·Two Market Development Centres progressing toward commissioning in year
·Three additional plants under construction with a growing set of projects under development
·Review and feasibilities on several projects with a view to pursuing syngas to hydrogen or biofuels
·Strategic collaborations support growth into new offtake applications including hydrogen and SNG
·Successful 2021 R&D programme, with new agreement in France for contaminated plastics
·Strong revenue growth over previous periods
·2022 business planning completed with clear objectives for the year, including for ESG
David Palumbo, CEO of EQTEC, commented:
“The final quarter of 2021 was busy for us and rewarding as a result. The foundations we set in 2020 and 2021 are now supporting targeted growth: joint ventures in target markets, Market Development Centres and an ecosystem of partners that take over more of the project lifecycle, toward an increasing focus for EQTEC on licensing and innovating our technology. We are active now in seven markets and have opened the door for more as we scale. Despite some challenging market conditions, particularly raw materials shortages, higher prices and increased shipping costs and times, we have delivered over four times revenue growth and find ourselves in a strong position to grow even faster. We will do this across both geographical and solutions markets, driving innovation and better targeting of demand, together with our local and some multinational partners. 2022 will see us commission more plants with more operational availability and prove our case that EQTEC syngas is the future for reliable, carbon-negative, baseload energy and biofuels.”
Market Development Centres
The Company confirmed progress toward commissioning of Market Development Centres (“MDCs”) in Italy and Croatia. Both are expected to be commissioned in H2 2022 and will be showcases of EQTEC technology in live, commercial environments.
In October, the Company’s work with partners on recommissioning of EQTEC Italia MDC SRL in Tuscany, Italy (“Italia MDC”) progressed with the site fully cleaned and relevant components disassembled and cleared. In December, the Company ordered core technology components and all deliveries were made on schedule. The 1MWe plant will convert multiple types of biomass feedstock into heat, power and/or fuel for local businesses and residents. Once operational, Italia MDC is expected to generate annual plant revenues of c. €2,000,000, with plant EBITDA of c. €750,000.
The Company currently owns 20% of Italia MDC, with an option to acquire further equity in the Project. In January 2022, Company Directors visited the site with fellow shareholders and reviewed progress with local construction partner COS.M.I. SRL. The meeting also addressed the potential for further commercial opportunities for the plant, including production of high-quality biochar and construction of additional infrastructure to accommodate higher-margin feedstock and further offtake alternatives. The Company is undertaking feasibility assessments now and expects to complete them in Q1 2022.
In November, the Company confirmed financial close for the Beliše project (“Beliše”) in Croatia, under development by Synergy Projects d.o.o., the Company’s joint venture with project development partner Sense ESCO d.o.o. The Company further confirmed that it had completed detailed engineering and that all main components had been ordered and are expected to be on site in Q1 2022. It reiterated that funding was secured for upgrade of the technology, increasing plant capacity to 1.5MWe from the original 1.2MWe. Technology sales for EQTEC over the life of the project are expected to be €2.0 million, of which c. 60% was invoiced by EQTEC in Q4 2021.
Other plant construction
In addition to the two MDCs, three other plants are under construction in USA, Greece and Croatia.
The Company in October announced investment of an additional c. US$2.8 million (c. £2.1 million) in the North Fork Community Power project in California, USA (“North Fork”). The additional investment increased the Company’s equity in the project to 49%. The Company also confirmed a US$4.5 million convertible loan facility to fund the project. Following execution of the loan facility, construction work continues. Foundations are laid, most civil works completed and mechanical and electrical installation are set as next phases of work.
The Company announced in December a partnership between the Company, its development partner Phoenix Energy Inc. (“Phoenix”), the North Fork Community Development Council and Carbonfuture GmbH to help Sierra Nevada forests and communities remove carbon from the atmosphere, reduce wildfire risk, generate renewable energy, create jobs and support the local community whilst generating carbon removal credits.
In Greece, remaining deliveries of EQTEC technology were made to the Larissa , Thessaly project, which will result in commissioning of the country’s first advanced gasification waste-to-energy plant. Work with the Company’s EPC partner ewerGy GmbH (“ewerGy”) on behalf of Agrigas Energy S.A. continues .
In Croatia, the Company in November confirmed first-phase funding for a project in Karlovač (“Karlovač”). The Company clarified that the existing plant will be retrofitted with EQTEC technology and new equipment in two phases, with one of two 1.5MWe lines built during each phase, to take advantage of existing infrastructure, grid connection and Power Purchase Agreement. Partial funding for the first phase at Karlovač was confirmed toward completion of detailed engineering design and ordering of main equipment. Technology sales for EQTEC over the life of the project are expected now to be €15m, of which c.10% was invoiced by EQTEC in Q4 2021.
The Company announced progress with a number of projects in the UK and Greece and also progressed with development of projects in USA, France and Ireland.
In the UK, the Company in October announced successful planning consent for an advanced gasification facility deploying EQTEC technology at its Deeside refuse-derived fuel (“RDF”) project in Flintshire, Wales (“Deeside”). Flintshire County Council’s planning committee resolved to grant planning permission for the proposed 9.9MWe plant to enable a complete and local waste-to-energy solution that would combine a 182,000-tonne waste reception plant with anaerobic digestion and EQTEC Advanced Gasification Technology. The Company also announced it had entered into a cooperation agreement through project SPV Logik WTE Limited with Anaergia Inc. to develop a proposal for delivery of the multi-technology waste-to-energy project at Deeside. In December, the Company announced entering into a Supplementary Agreement with Logik Developments Limited (“Logik”). Through the new Agreement, Logik and EQTEC are now acting in partnership to seek to develop additional waste-to-value infrastructure on the Deeside site. The partners successfully completed a design feasibility study for hydrogen production on site, which indicated viability from planning and environmental points of view. The partners expect to select a technology partner for syngas-to-hydrogen development in Q1 2022.
Also in the UK, for its Southport Hybrid Energy Park project in Merseyside (“Southport”), the Company in November submitted a revised planning application for the Phase 1 waste reception centre and anaerobic digestion facility, following a previously approved application for the first phase and as a precursor to the intended Phase 2 planning application for a facility built around EQTEC Advanced Gasification Technology. The planned Phase 1 facility is designed to convert 80,000 tonnes of waste through anaerobic digestion into six million cubic metres of biomethane, which in turn would output 9MWe. The intended Phase 2 facility, once approved, could convert up to 25,000 tonnes of RDF into an estimated 2.5 – 3MWe of green electricity per year. A pre-planning consultation has been carried out with the local authority whereby Phase 1 and Phase 2 master plans were welcomed by the local authority and given its support.
Also at Southport, the Company and its partners Rotunda Group Ltd. and subsidiary Shankley Biogas Ltd. identified the potential for an additional gasification facility near to the current Southport site. The additional site would potentially allow for installation of an even larger, Phase 3 EQTEC Advanced Gasification Technology facility that could transform waste into synthetic natural gas (“SNG”) and/or hydrogen. The Company and its partners are incorporating investigation of this opportunity into its project development activities. EQTEC expects to act as the project developer for all aspects of the Southport project, providing the design and core Advanced Gasification Technology and retaining a portion of the O&M contract upon commissioning. As the project matures toward financial close, the Company intends to sell a majority equity position on the project SPV and invoice that SPV for development services provided.
For other UK projects, the Company announced in December that it was investigating new offtake opportunities for both Deeside and its 25MWe RDF-to-energy project at Billingham, Teesside (“Billingham”). EQTEC has entered discussions with current and prospective technology and delivery partners toward feasibility work at both sites and the Company looks forward to providing further updates on the opportunities in due course. The Company in December confirmed its decision to defer financial close for both Deeside and Billingham to enable the feasibility work to progress.
The Company made visits to both Deeside and Billingham sites in December and had constructive meetings. At Deeside, the Company met with Mr Mark Tami MP and Mr Jack Sargeant MS. At Billingham, the Company met with Mr Alex Cunningham MP.
The Company qualified a further two potential projects in the UK and is directly engaged with project developers and funders to shape and define these projects and looks forward to providing more specific updates on these in due course.
In the USA, the Company and Phoenix appointed an owners’ representative for the Blue Mountain Electric Company LLC project opportunity in Wilseyville, California (“BMEC”) and engaged three candidate companies for selection as Lead Contractor, toward start of front-end engineering design work in early 2022. The BMEC plant will, when operational, convert c. 24,000 tonnes of forestry waste per year into c. 2,400 tonnes of high-quality biochar and 3MWe of power for the local community, whilst contributing to prevention of forest fires.
In addition, the Company and Phoenix have identified a significant pipeline of forestry waste opportunities across California and in early 2022 will pursue a third opportunity for a forestry biomass-to-energy plant in the state.
In France, the Company in December signed a Letter of Intent (“LoI”) with SEPS SAS of France (“SEPS”), a company specialising in the management and recycling of industrial waste. The LoI will support the Company’s pursuit of safe and clean treatment of contaminated plastic, particularly polyethylene and high-density polyethylene and its conversion into energy, hydrogen and biofuels, which both partners view as a significant opportunity for EQTEC Advanced Gasification Technology. Additionally, the Company and SEPS are discussing a project for deployment of EQTEC technology at an on-premise, industrial facility in Haute-Garonne, France.
Also in France, development of the Biomasse31 project continues with EQTEC negotiating a development agreement with the project owners to take over the final stages of the development to financial close.
The Company has identified and is pursuing an additional five project opportunities in France for a range of biomass, RDF and other feedstock, as well as a range of offtake applications. The Company looks forward to providing more specific updates on these in due course.
In Greece, the Company in October announced that EQTEC Synergy Projects Limited (“Synergy Aegean”), its joint venture with ewerGy and its local partner ECO Hellas M IKE (“ECO Hellas”) would acquire the rights to a project in Nevrokopi, Drama. Through the project, Synergy Aegean will develop a biomass-to-energy plant built around EQTEC technology that will generate 5MW green electricity from locally and sustainably sourced forestry waste. The announcement of the Drama project followed announcement earlier in the year that Synergy Aegean had signed an agreement for acquisition of a 1MWe waste-to-energy gasification project in Livadia, Kilkis and exclusivity for a second 1MWe project nearby.
In Ireland, under the Collaboration Agreement with Carbon Sole Group Limited, the planning application process for the projects in Shannon and Sligo is progressing, with a planning application for a third project expected to be made in 2022.
Solution development and innovation
In December, the Company successfully completed the last in a series of 2021 R&D projects at its technology innovation facility in France, through its partnership with the Université de Lorraine . In addition to other biomass and RDF tests earlier in the year, the final test was focused on contaminated plastics. As part of 2022 business planning carried out in Q4 2021, EQTEC outlined a three-year view for advanced R&D and solutions innovation across a range of potential revenue streams, with a view to accelerating development with current and new partners in 2022. The Company looks forward to sharing updates and news on these developments.
In November, the Company announced it had signed a Strategic Collaboration Agreement with Wood, a leading consulting and engineering company across energy and the built environment (“Wood”). Under the terms of the Agreement, the Company and Wood will jointly target and pursue market opportunities for collaborative development and deployment of clean, waste-to-SNG and waste-to-hydrogen solutions and delivery of related projects. The two partners have held two planning meetings since the announcement and identified a significant pipeline of opportunities for joint pursuit.
In November, the Company joined Wood at its COP26 sessions in Glasgow, UK. In addition to attending a range of events focused on how to accelerate funding and development of new technologies in support of energy transition, the Company presented to Wood and several of its technology partners about the unique positioning of EQTEC technology and its focus on growth and scale through deployment of digital technologies and approaches to procurement, construction and operations.
In December, the Company announced it had entered into a Collaboration Framework Agreement (“CFA”) with H2 Energy Solutions Ltd (“H2”), a hydrogen technology investment and project development business headquartered in Germany. Pursuant to the CFA, the Company and H2 will collaborate to develop opportunities for deployment of waste-to-hydrogen capabilities and other opportunities, particularly in Germany and Turkey.
Also in December, the Company announced an enhancement to its existing Framework Partnership Agreement with MetalNRG plc (LON:MNRG) (“MetalNRG”). The expanded arrangement strengthens ties between the partners, as MetalNRG continues to invest, develop and deliver sustainable, shovel-ready green energy projects with a specific focus on biomass and waste-to-energy projects in the UK and Europe, with EQTEC as a leading technology and innovation partner. MetalNRG was confirmed in June 2021 as a consortium partner with EQTEC and two other investors for repowering, owning and operating Italia MDC.
In Q4 2021, the Company further solidified its relationship with project engineering partner CT3 Ingeniería S.L. (“CT3”), a Madrid-based civil, mechanical and electrical engineering company supporting design and engineering efforts at Italia MDC, Billingham, Deeside, Croatia MDC (in Beliše), Karlovač and other EQTEC projects. With EQTEC leading the process engineering at the core of EQTEC’s solutions, CT3 continues to provide world-class design, development and construction advisory services across an increasing number of EQTEC-enabled plants. CT3 employs more than 50 engineers deployed to EQTEC and a range of other new energy and nuclear power businesses and can scale rapidly based on its Europe-wide database of engineering talent and its flexible contracting capabilities. CT3 is increasingly a core part of EQTEC’s platform for development, delivery and pipeline growth.
Also in Q4 2021, the Company engaged more closely with the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to follow up on its 2021 publication of a paper on advanced gasification technologies and toward review of the Company’s position with regard to the UK government’s growing interest in gasification as a core technology for hydrogen and biofuels.
In December, the Company confirmed that, notwithstanding its decision to defer financial close for its two largest projects at Billingham and at Deeside, it anticipated that its total revenues for 2021 would be in the range of €8 – 10 million (2020: €2.2 million), representing strong growth over previous years. The Company continues to expect confirmation of 2021 revenues in this range. It also indicated an anticipated 2021 EBITDA loss (adjusted for one-off, share-based payments) in the range of €2.5 – 3.5 million.
2021 revenue and EBITDA are due to be finalised through the Company’s annual audit and reported in its annual results, which it expects to publish in April 2022.
2022 business plan
Business objectives for 2022 maintain a strong focus on revenue growth, supported by disciplined project development and construction with an increasing number of larger partners with qualified delivery track records and, in many cases, multinational market access. In addition, the Company will test and develop more, high-margin feedstock types and extend EQTEC technology into new syngas applications such as waste-to-hydrogen, waste-to-SNG and waste-to-biofuels. Together with the broader financial modelling and commercial negotiation capabilities of the Company, these additional capabilities co-developed with technology partners will support definition and market testing of new EQTEC solutions targeted at growing demand in specific markets.
In Q4 and in line with its annual business planning activities, the Company outlined its Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) agenda, which it announced in January 2022. In addition to outlining a direction of travel for the coming years, the Company’s ESG Statement specifies objectives for 2022 including establishment of a clear approach and baseline assessment of carbon and other emissions. As a cleantech business, the Company intends to report on and exercise active accountability for its ESG work.
CEO David Palumbo, CFO Nauman Babar and COO Jeffrey Vander Linden will make a live presentation in respect of the Company’s Q4 20 21 activities via the Investor Meet Company platform, on Wednesday, 2 February 2021 at 1200 GMT.
The presentation is open to all existing and prospective shareholders. Questions can be submitted at any time during the live presentation.
Investors may sign up to Investor Meet Company for free and attend the event at:
Investors who already follow EQTEC plc on the Investor Meet Company platform will automatically be invited.
This announcement contains inside information as defined in Article 7 of the EU Market Abuse Regulation No 596/2014 and has been announced in accordance with the Company’s obligations under Article 17 of that Regulation.
+44 203 883 7009
David Palumbo / Nauman Babar
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