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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
  • Half-year sales went up almost threefold
EQTEC

Quick facts: EQTEC PLC

Price: 0.195 GBX

AIM:EQT
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £7.88 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

Following the financial close of the California project, the first three months of 2020 saw EQTEC ink various deals, including for the development of the first advanced gasification plant in Greece, to upgrade an existing syngas research and development facility at the University of Extremadura in Spain, teaming up with French research laboratory, and a five-year collaboration focused on Greece and the Balkans.

The latter is a framework agreement with ewerGy, a German engineering, procurement and construction company, with the pair having identified 11 potential projects in the pipeline; two are under development, with the remaining projects under due diligence.

Later in March 2020, the group that it was managing capital expenditure and working capital levels amid the coronavirus outbreak, looking to make savings that will not impact on the long-term success of the company while continuing to advance its commercial pipeline.

With technical staff set up for remote working, the company said it expects no reduction in design and engineering capability, and was reassured by the actions of key partners and suppliers to mitigate against long-term impacts.

Its most recent set of results showed with revenues rising more than threefold to €1.56mln, ending the first half of 2019 with net current assets totalling €530,000 compared to net current liabilities of €2.65mln at the end of 2018.

In December, £1mln was raised in a share subscription among new and existing investors to develop the group’s near-term projects and for working capital purposes.

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