Pacific American Coal Ltd (ASX:PAK) has identified a significant opportunity in alternate energy projects in the Pacific Region and has entered into a joint venture agreement with Austrian hydropower turbine manufacturer Global Hydro Energy GmbH.
Global Hydro is a privately-owned family business based in Austria with 100 years of experience in manufacturing and implementing hydro projects globally with group global sales of US$100+ million.
As a specialist in micro hydro technology, Global Hydro has developed its own SmarT technology which is an ideal product for outputs of 100 kW to 1 MW per unit.
Key elements of the joint venture agreement are:
• A 50/50 joint venture company is to be established in Singapore and called Global Pacific Hydro (GP Hydro);
• GP Hydro is to be focused on micro hydro and hybrid projects in the Pacific Region, including Australia, through the introduction of Global Hydro products to these markets;
• Develop and adapt Global Hydro’s technology for local environmental situations; and
• Explore the addition of accessory products such as battery storage, wind or solar power with Global Hydro products.
PAK Chairman Geoff Hill said: “This is a very exciting initiative for PAK and our shareholders.
“The board has been reviewing additional investment opportunities for some time and identified renewable energy as a priority due to its high growth potential.
“We now have a leading technology partner and clear business strategy to grow an alternative energy -business focussed on hydro and hybrid projects with a low risk, high impact, entry strategy.”
The initial investment committed by PAK to establish the joint venture vehicle is US$50,000.
Subject to shareholders’ approval, if required, further commitments of up to US$500,000 in total would be provided in separate tranches and invested should the joint venture achieve certain clearly defined milestones.
GP Hydro has a well-defined regional marketing strategy which will focus on hybrid and micro grid projects as well as pumped hydro opportunities in Australia, PNG and the Pacific Islands.
Focus on Elko
PAK’s hydro joint venture is an important first step in the company’s stated strategy of developing a business line complementary to its coal business.
However, PAK’s focus remains firmly on the further development of its flagship Elko coking coal project in Canada, as it develops the hydro business.
Elko remains an exciting opportunity for PAK, as evidenced by the recent upgrade in its JORC resource to over 303 million tonnes.