Trading update & AGM statement
Active Energy Group Plc / EPIC: AEG / Sector: Alternative Energy
8 July 2021
Active Energy Group Plc
("Active Energy", "AEG", "Group" or the "Company")
Trading update & AGM statement
Active Energy, the London quoted renewable energy company focused on the production and development of next generation biomass products, is pleased to announce an update on its current trading ahead of today's Annual General Meeting ("AGM").
Ashland - CoalSwitchTM production, emissions testing and permitting
During the last six weeks, CoalSwitchTM ("CoalSwitch") has been produced at the facility located at Ashland, Maine (the "Ashland Facility"). The Board is pleased with the Ashland Facility's initial performance and is working with the Company's joint venture partner, Player Design Inc ("PDI"), to optimise the manufacturing process of CoalSwitch and to increase the production rate towards three tonnes per hour. Additionally, with the manufacturing information now available from the initial commissioning, PDI has commenced the engineering analysis required to build larger scale CoalSwitch production facilities of up to 20 tonnes per hour.
The joint venture with PDI (the "JV") will complete emissions analysis during July 2021, the results of which will be supplied to the State of Maine. The JV will then apply to the State of Maine for an operating permit to increase CoalSwitch production volumes from the Ashland Facility. The initial State of Maine permit was issued efficiently and the Board anticipates that the process to conclude the operating permit extension, following positive emissions results from the Ashland Facility, will be handled in the same manner. The Company will provide shareholders with further updates as soon as practical.
PacifiCorp delivery & testing program
CoalSwitch deliveries were made, on time and on schedule, to PacifiCorp in June 2021. AEG is now working with the University of Utah and Brigham Young University on the test program at the Hunter Power Plant in Utah. The Company will publish the test results when they are received.
AEG's dedicated testing program and IP analysis
AEG has delivered samples of CoalSwitch to two additional academic institutions in North America to analyse the burn and emission attributes of CoalSwitch, both firing the fuel on its own and in various co-firing scenarios. AEG is also monitoring its existing intellectual property ("IP") portfolio and as the test programs generate new data, the Company will look to supplement its existing IP portfolio. In each instance, as soon as results become available, AEG will publish all relevant information.
Sales and marketing
AEG's proprietary technology transforms wood residuals into high value renewable fuels with the potential to transform the existing coal fired power industry. The production of CoalSwitch in recent weeks has accelerated interest and enquiries from prospective customers who see the potential of this quality product with its clear environmental advantages.
AEG's sales teams in the US and Japan have now delivered samples of CoalSwitch to over ten prospective customers in recent weeks. The sales teams are working with power utility companies and other associated industries where, particularly in the US, existing coal consumption in established manufacturing processes offers increasing sales opportunities due to changing environmental rules. The Board expects that, following independent analysis of samples of CoalSwitch, prospective customers will place orders for significant quantities for larger scale test burns, which would in due course lead to longer term off-take contract negotiations.
Given the prime focus for AEG on developing these key customer relationships and the need for AEG to expand the management team, Max Aitken, currently a non-executive director of AEG, will assume new executive management responsibilities during the second half of 2021, which will include co-ordinating the commercial strategy for these key customer relationships. The role will utilise Max's unique European biomass knowledge and experience for application in the growing North American and Asian markets.
The CoalSwitch production facility at Lumberton (the "Lumberton Facility") remains ready for final phase of construction. Emissions data from the Ashland Facility will be submitted to the Department of Environmental Quality in North Carolina (the "DEQ") to support the permit amendment application. The Company will update shareholders when the timeline for this final approval process is agreed with the DEQ. Since the Lumberton Site is focused on the manufacture of next generation biomass fuels, AEG has now ceased its lumber operations at Lumberton.
AEG awaits a hearing date for its motion seeking to dismiss the claims made by Southern Environmental Law Center representing Winyah Rivers Alliance and concerning alleged wastewater permitting violations. AEG and its legal advisers are confident that AEG has complied with all relevant regulations at the Lumberton Site and expect the litigation will be resolved by the end of the year.
Future co-operation in Newfoundland and Labrador
AEG was recently notified that its commercial cutting permit had been cancelled in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador (the "Province"), owing to the requisite volume allocation not having been harvested within specified time limits. Covid-19 travel restrictions had further prevented AEG or any of its advisers from accessing the Province in the last 16 months. Discussions continue with the Province regarding the introduction of a CoalSwitch production facility following the recent positive developments in Maine.
OTC Markets application
AEG is pleased to confirm that all the procedural formalities for the application to the Company's OTCQB Venture Market ("OTCQB") have been successfully completed and AEG is now working with OTC Markets and its market participants to commence trading of the shares under the ticker "ACTVGF". AEG will announce once trading on OTCQB commences.
Michael Rowan, CEO of Active Energy, said:
"The commencement of production of CoalSwitch has marked a significant shift in our prospective customers' perception of Active Energy. CoalSwitch is now no longer a concept but a next generation biomass renewable fuel in production and immediately ready for testing by prospective customers. The level of new customer enquiries, both from within North America and internationally, within the last month is extremely encouraging for the future commercial prospects of CoalSwitch.
I am also delighted that Max Aitken will assume an increasing management role within AEG as the business expands. Max has unique biomass industry experience in the UK and Europe from the last decade and this will be invaluable as we deliver next generation biomass solutions within North America. I look forward to working closely with him as AEG builds an effective sales team."
Annual General Meeting
The AGM of the Company will be held today at 3 p.m. at the offices of SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP, Prince Frederick House, 35-39 Maddox Street, London, W1S 2PP.
Following the delay in progression of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions from Stage 3 to Stage 4, resulting in the Stage 3 restrictions remaining in place until 19 July 2021, and in accordance with the current legislation in force as a result of COVID-19, the Company considers that the AGM will be subject to the "Rule of Six" limits on indoor meetings.
Accordingly, shareholders are advised that they should not attend the AGM in person. The Company has arranged for a quorum and the Company Secretary to be present to ensure that the business of the AGM can be transacted. Anyone else seeking attendance may be refused admission to enable the Company to adhere to Government restrictions and to help protect the Company's staff and shareholders and the staff of the venue provider.
The Company will host a live presentation at 3.30 p.m. today, following the AGM, to update shareholders on current trading and take questions. To join the presentation please use the following link: https://webcasting.brrmedia.co.uk/broadcast/60db2a370bb2806642d66a9a
New Company website
The Company has launched a new website which will be available by Friday 9th July. The link to the new website can be found here: https://www.aegplc.com/
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) 596/2014 as it forms part of UK domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 ("MAR"), and is disclosed in accordance with the Company's obligations under Article 17 of MAR.
Active Energy Group Plc
Michael Rowan (Chief Executive Officer)
Andrew Diamond (Chief Financial Officer)
SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP
Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker
David Hignell / Caroline Rowe
Rob Rees (Sales)
Office: +44 (0)20 3470 0470
Allenby Capital Limited
Nick Naylor/James Reeve (Corporate Finance)
Amrit Nahal (Sales/Corporate Broking)
Office: +44 (0)20 3328 5656
Financial PR Adviser
Gordon Poole / Tom Huddart / Emily Hall
Office: +44 (0)20 3757 4980
About Active Energy Group
Active Energy Group plc is a London listed (AIM: AEG) renewable energy company focused on the production and development of next generation biomass products that have the potential to transform the traditional coal fired-power industry and existing renewable biomass industry.
The Company has developed a proprietary technology which transforms waste biomass material into high-value renewable fuels. Its patented product CoalSwitch is a leading drop-in renewable fuel that can be co-fired with coal, completely replace coal as an alternative feedstock without requiring significant plant modifications, or replace existing biomass feedstock resources. Active Energy Group's immediate strategic focus is the production and commercialisation of CoalSwitch and further CoalSwitch fuel blends that utilise other waste wood and residual materials.
CoalSwitch is a registered trademark belonging to AEG plc.