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EQTEC primed to become one-stop-shop for waste-to-energy projects

Snapshot

  • Focuses on waste-to-energy projects
  • Commercial developments include municipal waste project in UK, biomass power plants in California
  • Demand for technology and services “remains strong” in 2020
EQTEC

Quick facts: EQTEC PLC

Price: 0.5 GBX

AIM:EQT
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £34.34 m
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What the company does

EQTEC PLC (LON:EQT) has developed the EQTEC Gasifier Technology, or EGT, which turns household waste into electrical and thermal energy.

The business model is simple: source waste-to-energy projects and sell the developers an EGT along with an ongoing contract for operation and maintenance of the project.

The company has been targeting power generation systems fed by municipal waste, waste olive oil and biomass. The aim ultimately is to become a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the technology, design, the build and the operation and management of these projects.

 

Municipal waste and maintenance

In the municipal waste and refuse business EQTEQ is partnered with two industrial specialists, China Energy and Cobra Instalaciones Y Servicios. A contract won in conjunction with Cobra to build a 25-megawatt power plant in Billingham, County Durham, which is designed to process some 200,000 metric tonnes of refuse-derived fuel per year in a project expected to be worth between £150mln and £180mln. Discussions with funding partners continues.

In October, a first maintenance contract was completed with Barcelona's public transport operator to overhaul an engine cogeneration unit at TMB's Horta Station in Barcelona, with EQTEC retaining the preventive maintenance contract until at least May 2020 for two sites.

 

Industry-specific waste

Another end-market is to provide the technology to assist industries to eliminate waste streams.

EQTEC has more than 90,000 hours of data after deploying its technology in Spain for several years, recovering energy from olive pomace waste, and talks have been held to collaborate with partners on potential projects in the country and elsewhere.

 

Biomass

The company’s gasification technology was selected by Phoenix Energy for two biomass power plants in California. Designs for the first plant have already been completed, and it is presently in talks with Phoenix over a potential deeper collaboration. 

It signed a €2.2mln contract to provide equipment, engineering and design services to North Fork Community Project (NFCP), a biomass gasification scheme in California capable of generating revenues of around US$4mln a year, in exchange for a 19.99% stake.

In November 2019, EQTEC agreed a deal in principle with bond investors to help tie up the investment needed to kick off the project after forest fires disrupted the financial process. Financial close was confirmed in January.

Meanwhile, the group has also inked a €5.5mln (£4.7mln) commercial agreement to develop a 1.18 megawatt (MW) biogas power plant in the area of Gratens in France.

 

How it is doing

For the year ended December 31, 2019, the group reported a loss of €3.6mln, a narrowing from an €8.2mln loss in the prior year, while revenues were €1.6mln compared to €2.2mln in 2018.

Post-period, EQTEC said contracted revenues in the first quarter of 2020 were at €2.35mln, already ahead of the total for the entire previous year.

The company also said it had a “high degree of earnings visibility” on contracted or near contracted sales of technology, with its results for 2020 expected to be “significantly weighted” to the second half of the year.

EQTEC said demand for its technology and services “remains strong”, noting that the waste to energy market is forecast to grow and there were early indications that demand was increasing.

While the impact of the coronavirus was not yet quantified, the company said the pandemic “may influence the pace and nature of climate action positively”, which in turn could accelerate the recovery of the global economy.

 

Inflexion points

  • In early July, the company raised £10mln through an oversubscribed placing and subscription to accelerate project development amid what it said was “increasing” demand for its waste gasification to energy technology
  • In June, EQTEC formed an agreement with Ireland’s Carbon Sole Group to jointly develop green energy solutions for the Irish market
  • The company has extended the exclusivity period with COBRA Instalaciones Y Servicios and Scott Bros. Enterprises over the development of the Billingham Energy waste gasification and power plant

 

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