Eco Investor Update
A Weekly News Update for Environmental Investors
2012 - No 78
Hastings Diversified Utilities
HDF said the deal will add 2 cents per security to cash flow. (ASX: HDF)
However, Qube has not responded to the Government's latest announcement.
The Government's Moorebank Intermodal Terminal project will see a rail link constructed from Sydney's Port Botany to the new freight terminal and warehousing facilities at Moorebank. This will enable freight to be more efficiently transported by rail, and take 3,300 trucks off Sydney roads every day.
In future years, the Moorebank site will also be expanded to include an interstate freight terminal, said the Government.
Private sector operators for the project will be selected through an open and competitive tender. Subject to planning and environmental approvals, the Terminal will be open for business in 2017. (ASX: QUB)
Mr Goldfaden is a managing director of Warburg Pincus LLC and is focused on the firm's investments in the Asia-Pacific region. He has previously been a director of companies in the manufacturing and consumer industries. (ASX: TPI)
Infigen Energy has executed service and availability agreements with Vestas - Australian Wind Technology Pty Ltd for its four Australian wind farms with Vestas turbines. The agreements cover 367.6 MW of installed capacity and 166 turbines across the three stages of the Lake Bonney Wind Farm in SA and the Alinta Wind Farm in WA.
Vestas will provide turbine maintenance services and replacement components until 31 December 2017, including the cost of component replacement subject to caps. Infigen Energy will be responsible for operating the sites and maintenance of the balance of plant.
The service fees are calculated on MWh production, subject to a minimum annual payment of around 60 per cent of the expected annual service fee at P50 production. Vestas is entitled to performance payments if turbine availability exceeds prescribed levels. This encourages Vestas to perform scheduled maintenance in low wind periods.
Infigen said the deal better aligns its costs with its revenues in the post-warranty environment, will reduce the current variability in wind farm costs caused by component replacements, and also reduce the post warranty working capital needs at these wind farms.
"As a result of these agreements, which cover approximately two thirds of Infigen Energy's installed Australian capacity, Infigen has taken a significant step toward containing post-warranty wind farm costs across its Australian portfolio within the previously indicated $20-25 per Mwh (P50 basis) range in the medium term," said managing director Miles George. (ASX: IFN)
Net operating cash flows was $3.3 million for the quarter, and minus $8.48 million for the first nine months. The biggest expense was working capital of $8.2 million for the quarter and $64.1 million so far this year.
CBD said the restructuring of the eco-Kinetics solar business has been successful in liquidating old stock and rebuilding the installation pipeline. CBD has continued to fund its international solar and wind projects that will contribute to future cash inflows and profitability, and there were costs relating to the proposed acquisition of Westinghouse Solar Inc.
About $1.4 million was received as part settlement of the legal costs from the successful outcome of the litigation brought against the company over the ownership and rights to storage technology patents. (ASX: CBD)
After selling his shares to Mr Henry, director Jeffrey Chen, who represents the Chunxing Group, has resigned as a board member.
Hydromet has engaged Greenstone Partners as its financial adviser to advise it on Mr Henry's bid. And recommends that shareholders take no action. (ASX: HMC)
Novarise Renewable Resources
The company said Mr Norman
played an integral part in Solco's success both in his leadership of the
company and in growing the Projects division, which has won over
The new chief executive officer Anthony Coles said "These changes are a natural part of the business positioning itself for a post-rebate operating environment. We have a range of long-term initiatives in place to ensure our success in the future, but we need to get back to basics to deal with the day-to-day customer service needs of our core customers."
"Last year Solco celebrated 25 years of operation, proof that we can adapt to the challenges of an evolving industry," he said. (ASX: SOO)
Ceramic Fuel Cells
At the end of the December quarter the number of units ordered but not recognized in revenue was 477. During the quarter it delivered 26 units, reducing its open order book - units ordered but not recognized in revenue - to 451 units. These will be recognized in revenue and will deliver cashflow as they are delivered to customers over the coming year.
The bulk of the March quarter deliveries were BlueGen units delivered to sanevo in Germany and EON in the UK, and integrated mCHP units delivered to EWE in Germany.
Net operating cash outflow for the March quarter was $4.9 million, lower than the previous quarter principally due to higher receipts.
The company has now sold 619 units - 264 integrated mCHP products and 355 BlueGens. The number of units installed and operating at customer sites is 193. Ceramic Fuel Cells said the pace of installations is increasing, reflecting its work in the previous quarters to train skilled local installation and service partners.
In Australia, the BueGen units were on Channel 7's Today Tonight program on 23 April.
During the quarter five BlueGen units were installed at the Quins commercial building redevelopment in Port Adelaide and are generating low emission power for the building. In April the company sold two BlueGen units to an energy and mining services company in Brisbane.
Ceramic Fuel Cells said it believe a large scale deployment of its BlueGen product ideally matches the objectives and funding guidelines of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), and the CEFC's new review report cites fuel cells as an eligible technology.
"We are pleased that the CEFC will adopt Ceramic Fuel Cells' recommendation, and set the eligibility threshold for low-emissions technology at 50 per cent of the emissions intensity of electricity generation in Australia," said the company.
"This threshold is currently 0.416 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per megawatt hour of electricity generated. Ceramic Fuel Cells' products are below this threshold and are therefore eligible."
The report said "This threshold is substantially less than the current intensity of the grid and represents a fair and appropriate cut off for low-emissions technology. The rationale for setting the threshold at 50 per cent is to encompass fuel cells, distributed electricity generation, cogeneration and trigeneration using gas. Where distributed generation produces both heat and power (cogeneration and trigeneration) an allowance will be made for the usable heat that is produced when calculating the emissions intensity. Alternatively, these could be funded as an energy efficiency project." (ASX: CFU)
Micro Cap Companies
Chairman Peter McCoy said the company is speaking with several well know quality product suppliers about the on-line store and expects to launch the site around late June.
"It is expected by the time we launch the site we will have a database of approximately 50,000 plumbers, electricians, architects, consultants and other industry associates that are interested in acquiring quality energy and water efficiency products at competitive prices," he said.
"It is also intended that for those customers who require installation assistance we will be able to provide qualified installation services which will be delivered by industry affiliates through our Green Plumbers and Green Electricians network." (ASX: GNV)
Cash on hand was $923,000.
Managing director Kieran Rodgers said "The Directors consider that
the Company's presently available cash, receivables and other liquid current
70 per cent of the Victorian EAF dust stockpile has been reclaimed, blended with Zeehan sourced material and exported. Operations are expected to be completed in the current quarter.
Intec is no longer looking at converting the underutilized components of the Burnie facility for the recycling of a Japanese sourced industrial waste containing the rare earths neodymium and dysprosium. Investigations revealed that the Burnie facility cannot be reconfigured to a sufficient scale to handle the monthly quantities of waste generated; and the regulatory hurdles for importing the industrial waste are significant.
Intec said it is now looking at alternative ways to realize value from the rare earths REcycling Project technology, but the economic returns from commercialization of this technology are uncertain. (ASX: INL)
Intermoco, has extended the closing date for its rights issue from 30 April to 11 May. The offer is underwritten. (ASX: INT)
Po Valley Energy
The company's annual report says it is evaluating new oil opportunities of Ravizza and Bagnolo in Piano. At this stage its resources are contingent and small and a minor part of its activities. (ASX: PVE)
Total operating and investing cash flows were minus $4,413,000 for the quarter and minus $13,073,000 for the nine months. Cash was $8 million, which at the March quarter burn rate would last for six months. (ASX: RFX)
Geochemical analysis from samples at its 20 per cent owned James Bay Pegmatite Project in Quebec shows high lithiumoxide grades (Li2O) with low impurity levels with the highest grade 1.77 per cent Li2O, significantly higher than the current average of 1.28 per cent. The analysis was from 83 samples.
The channel sampling data revealed that the spodumene-bearing pegmatite samples are similar to the ore at Galaxy's Mt Cattlin mine in WA, said the company.
M&G Investment Funds and related entities have increased their holding in Galaxy from 14 to 19.93 per cent. Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund has increased its stake from 7.3 to 12.6 per cent.
Galaxy's ambition to produce batteries for electric bikes was on the ABC TV News. The company's website also has two new reports: the Seymour Pierce Research Report and the Stifel Nicolaus Merger Research. (ASX: GXY)
Micro Cap Companies
In the March quarter Dyesol reduced its net operating monthly burn rate to $560,000 due to reduced expenditure. For the year-to-date the cash burn has averaged $847,000, which compares favourably with the previous year of $940,000.
At the end of the quarter cash was $5.74 million, up from $2.67 million, thanks to the recent share purchase plan. Dyesol said it continues to look at options to lower its cash burn while maintaining its leading technological position in dye solar cells.
Dyesol has partnered in a two year R&D collaboration with Singapore's Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University to advance the technology and applications of dye solar cells. (ASX: DYE)
Earth Heat Resources
Chairman, Dr Ray Shaw, said that Norm had made a valuable contribution to the emerging geothermal industry in Australia both generally and through his participation in Earth Heat as a founding director.
Mr Zillman has indirectly increased his stake in Earth Heat Resources from 10.43 to 12.19 per cent.
The company has appointed company secretary Mal Lucas-Smith as an interim non-executive director. He has been involved with the Earth Heat Group since 2008, originally as a director and company secretary until he stepped down as a director following the merger with Fall River Resources Ltd in 2010. (ASX: EHR)
Enerji said a further two third generation Opcon Powerboxes are almost ready for shipping from Sweden in anticipation of the acceptance of at least one the several proposals in front of potential customers. (ASX:ERJ)
NewCO2Fuels Ltd, headed by professor Jacob Karni and his group at the Weitzman Institute of Science, have developed the conversion technology that uses concentrated solar energy to dissociate carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO) and oxygen (O2). At the same time the system can also dissociate water (H2O) to hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2).
The CO, or the mixture of CO and H2, is a syngas that can can be used as a gaseous fuel in power plants or converted to liquid fuel such as methanol for possible use in motor vehicles.
Greenearth chairman Rob Annells said "We believe that our laboratory proven CO2 to Fuel conversion technology has the potential to allow the State of Victoria to further utilize its vast brown coal resources into the future by adopting this revolutionary new conversion technology when commercially proven.
"In addition by way of our worldwide research and license agreement with the Weitzman Institute of Science we have a potential opportunity to work with Victorian brown coal export partners to adopt our technology in their countries and utilize our States' brown coal reserves in a more environmentally friendly way.
"Our aim is to work collaboratively with Government and industry to ultimately produce energy in the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way possible. We hope to be able to deploy a modular technology pilot demonstration within the next two years." (ASX:GER)
Kimberley Rare Earths
Managing director Tim Dobson said that he was very pleased with both the better than expected results and the two month speed at which they were achieved, especially given the cutting edge nature of the technology development.
"This represents a significant milestone in the development of the overall process flow sheet for Cummins Range and paves the way for us to confirm an appropriate downstream separation flow sheet using existing conventional technologies," he said.
Relative to other metal commodities, the commercial viability of rare earth projects is significantly reliant on the ability to define a process flow sheet that is able to produce saleable rare earth products, he said.
"This arises from a combination of geological and mineralogical diversity, i.e. rare earth deposits vary widely and mostly are unique; and the complexity of extracting and separating a range of different metal-based products."
The main objective of the current
program is to determine the potential upgradeability of the ore into concentrate,
and to improve understanding of the mineralogical distribution,
Indonesia's Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry announced in March that foreign investors in coal, copper, gold and other resources will be required to gradually reduce their stakes to 49 per cent 10 years after the original date of production.
Panax has received legal advice that confirms both geothermal and renewable energy projects are excluded from the new requirement.
Panax Geothermal managing director Kerry Parker said the Indonesian government is fast-tracking foreign investment in geothermal energy. "Both the government guarantee to protect and support projects during exploration and construction and the promised feed-in tariff are making geothermal a very attractive option for foreign investors."
Managing director Kerry Parker has indirectly acquired another 0.5 million shares at 1.2 cents each (ASX: PAX)
Samples will be assayed, and reports prepared by consulting geologists. Assays and reports will also be submitted on samples that have been sourced from previous exploration in the area, said the company. (ASX: SOR)
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