Chairman’s Address and Managing Directors Presentation
Over the past year, we’ve focused our energy and attention on advancing those goals we outlined at last year’s AGM:
There were two goals related to our India project which were:
- Commence construction of our Indian project
- Finalise feasibility for the commercial upgrade/second project
As we stand here today, we have not commenced construction, however, the second goal has been largely completed by the process undertaken in the techno-economic feasibility (TEF) finalised in June 30 this year. The requirement to complete this step became a priority to help our Indian partners define the pathway beyond the initial demonstration plant and allow for a clearer transition in scaling up to a commercial plant.
Our relationship with our Indian partners is as strong as ever and our increased access to Indian and Australian Government departments highlights the importance that all parties are placing on the completion of this project.
In recent correspondence with the Government of India’s Minister for Energy, Mr Piyush Goyal, we discussed the important strategic benefits our Coldry-Matmor project offers India, including:
- Import replacement for coking and thermal coals
- Improved domestic security of essential resources
- Supporting the Government’s “Make in India” policy
Additionally, correspondence with our partners, NLC and NMDC, reinforces the board’s confidence in this project proceeding. In all instances, we will seek to meet expectations on timing for outcome. Against this, a higher priority for the board, is long term shareholder value. And so, given we are traversing new territory on this project, its important for the company to make methodical and well considered decisions on issues such as:
- Project financing with the view of limiting shareholder dilution
- Optimisation of Australia’s R&D incentive program
- Long term revenues via royalties, licencing fees etc.
- Efficiently transitioning into a commercial program
We thank all shareholders for their support and patience on this project and are happy to say, we are not far away from delivering one of the most important outcomes in this company’s history.
Ashley will provide more details on this project in his MD’s presentation.
The third goal relating to designs and upgraded patents for Matmor, after today’s announcement, has been achieved.
A lot of the design work which was completed as part of the TEF allowed us to provide a capital estimate for the initial project in India. These capital estimates, for the Matmor piece of work, was a positive outcome and further reminded us of the need to continually protect our new knowledge in the pursuit of its monetisation.
We still have much to do, as we enter the detailed design phase of the Indian project, and look forward to the exciting outcome of achieving a fully integrated set of designs for a Coldry-Matmor plant, ready for construction.
Today’s announcement that we have submitted a new provisional patent application should be of great comfort to shareholders as it reinforces our intent to protect the long term shareholder value borne out through our continued R&D.
We have an informal mantra at ECT that, “We don’t talk about that which we cant explain. We don’t explain that we which we cant protect. And we don’t protect that which we cant monetise.” This means we need to, at all times, look down the entire chain of commercialisation for our technologies and ensure that what we are discovering today will be there for us to monetise in the future.
What you are witnessing with Matmor, is that principle in action.
Finally, the last goal we set ourselves from last year, was the “achievement of first earnings from commercial contracts associated to the application of our technologies”. This we aimed to do via the upgrading of our pilot plant facilities in Bacchus Marsh.
Earlier in the year, we achieved our first commercial sales of Coldry from this facility and started the process of upgrading the plant to support a larger capacity output and what we are now calling a High Volume Test Facility. These upgrades focused initially on health and safety and secondly on production capacity, targeting the biggest outcome for the lowest cost, by improving key bottlenecks along the existing process train. This project is a good example of how our corporate value of “frugal innovation” is put into action.
In the coming weeks, we expect to have all upgrades commissioned and will advise the market of the full outcome accordingly.
It is important to note that this facility’s primary role is to support the further R&D of Matmor, HydroMOR and Coldry. It will be invaluable to allow us to run multivariate tests in support of commercialisation and continual improvements of our existing technology suite. The incidental product that flows from these tests will be graded for market suitability and sold to customers where appropriate.
This upgraded facility is now a valuable asset for the company asit not only prepares us for increased R&D capability but performs this function in a way that is financially responsible and reinforces the company’s ability to monetise our IP along the commercialisation chain.
Ashley will take you through a more detailed overview of the achievements of the company in his presentation to follow shortly.
As your Chairman, I hold this position with great respect for all shareholders, fellow board members and staff of ECT. I recognise that it is a privilege and this privilege is only afforded where performance meets all our expectations, and most importantly those of the shareholders.
Your board is charged with the responsibility to provide guidance and oversight to the executive as they seek to achieve tactical goals inside a clear and effective strategy. A lot of decisions we make are not just in support of the objectives for each 12 months, but also to support the internal capabilities in achieving objectives over the next three years.
This year, we have implemented a 3-year strategic plan, that aims to position your company to become a much bigger company.
A review and focus on internal capabilities has led us to structure duties along clear divisional lines and build an operational structure that can absorb the expected high growth in total resource requirements without losing its effectiveness.
We now have a clear purpose, mission and vision.
Our objectives are measurable and can be traced to lines of responsibility, mapped against 1 year and 3 year goals.
And most importantly, our values are real and mean something.
Defining and agreeing to these has allowed us to make smart decisions on human resourcing, as evidenced by the inclusion of Lachy and Jim to the team.
I am happy to say, that not only is your company in the best position its been in, it is now also prepared to become an even better company. This is essential to attracting new leaders, staff members and shareholders, who will be instrumental in helping ECT achieve its ultimate goal of being world leaders in commercialising technologies to improve the value of low-rank and waste resources.
As a tradition, we usually close off by stating our goals for the next 12 months. However, this year, given the proximity of achieving major milestones, we intend to update the market with these goals shortly thereafter.
One goal we are willing to stand behind at this point in time, is the majority of the construction to be completed on the Coldry-Matmor project in India.
Finally, I’d like to thank you, our shareholders, for your ongoing support which, along with the dedication of the ECT team, will continue to drive the realisation of the considerable potential of our company.
For further information, contact:
Ashley Moore – Managing Director [email protected]