Environmental Clean Technologies Limited (ASX: ECT) (ECT or Company) is pleased to provide the following update on the Company’s India project.

Key Points:

Status of NMDC Board Approval

On 23 November 2018 the Company provided the following guidance based on information received at that time:

Further to the Company’s recent update (19 November 2018), NMDC have confirmed they will seek approval for signing of the RCA at their next board meeting, to be held in the first half of December.

The Company previously announced the in-principle approval of the RCA by NMDC subject to approval by partner NLCIL, which is in-hand.

NMDC was expected to ratify that in-principle approval at their recent board meeting (13 November 2018). Due to unforeseen circumstances, the agenda item was deferred.

NMDC are yet to formally announce their next board meeting date. The Company expects the meeting to occur in the coming 3 weeks and that approval to sign the RCA is included on the formal agenda.

NMDC has recently advised the Company that they were unable to meet early December timing due to several factors unrelated to the project and will formally release the timing of their next board meeting via official channels, in due course.

ECT Chief Operating Officer, Jim Blackburn commented from India, “As we wait for NMDC to confirm and subsequently convene their board meeting, we continue to drive project preparations in parallel to formalising NMDC’s ratification. We have enjoyed a very productive period here on the ground and are working closely with both NLCIL and NMDC. We continue to make good progress on key sub-programs. Following on from completion of the basic engineering phase some months ago, the broader team has begun preparations for a detailed site geotechnical survey, undertaken additional project budget review meetings and commenced a tender development program with our engineering consultants in Chennai. In addition, we are today meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Coal and the Australian High Commission in Delhi.”

Mr Blackburn also commented “One of the most pleasing developments these past few weeks has been the appointment and induction of an additional project team members here in India. We look forward to providing additional staff profiles over the coming weeks as we bed down each of the project-specific roles.”

Project Agreement Sunset Date Extended

The project agreement signed on 30 May 2018 contained a sunset clause. The sunset date was previously extended (see announcement 15 August 2018) and, given the present timing, the parties have further extended the sunset clause to 31 January 2019.

This date has been chosen based on the timing of anticipated NMDC board approval to sign the RCA and targeted timing of meetings with India’s Ministry of Coal and Ministry of Steel, the first of which is occurring today.

The Company looks forward to providing a further update once NMDC confirm the timing of their next board meeting.

 

For further information, contact:

Glenn Fozard – Chairman           [email protected]

Welcome Fellow Shareholders,

I’m pleased to be reporting to you after a significant year of development for our Company.

It’s been a long road for the Company and you all, our shareholders, however we’ve made several important advances in the past year which will be touched on here and in the following presentation.

Notably, on 30 May we signed the MOU which set the direction for the largest ever research and development (R&D) collaboration between Australia and India.

And while the past year has entailed additional layers of process as we reach ‘financial close’, shareholders will recognise that to be successful in India requires a high level of on-the-ground engagement and disciplined diplomacy, in addition to patience with polite persistence.

India has been our most important objective and for that we make no apologies about the focus and concentration of resources we have directed to finalising this initiative. Delivering on our promised first deal is critical to all other initiatives going forward and sets the baseline for management's ability to venture forth.

India is full of opportunity – growth rates of 8.5%, one of the largest populations in the world and the largest population of young people under 25, who are highly educated, speak fluent English and will become the middle-class consumers that will drive India to being a powerful consumer market to rival China.

Despite this, there are necessary reforms yet to take place, which still make it a complex place to do business as a foreign company.  But this is changing, and we are seeing the effect of reforms like GST, and changes to insolvency and bankruptcy laws in India which evidence that the Government has the will to change and following suite are companies like NLC and NMDC showing great dedication towards global best practise in many areas of how they do business.

With that in mind, this year’s strategic objectives have been guided by the following themes:

  1. Evidence Adoption - Apply our technology to commercial projects
  2. Secure Value - Improve our development and protection of our technology
  3. Demonstrate Value - Reach operational revenues to underpin the economic sustainability of 1 & 2 above

Consistent with our 3-year strategic plan, our objectives cover:

  1. Commercialisation
    • Commercialise the Coldry technology
    • Commercialise the Matmor technology
  2. Innovation and Market Development
    • Continual development and leverage of existing technologies
    • New and evolving technologies and markets
  3. Corporate Capacity and Capabilities
    • R&D program management & administration
    • Capital, finance and resource management
    • Communications, marketing and stakeholder engagement
    • Governance, risk and compliance

This has manifested in the following key result areas:

  1. Progressing our Indian project and making way for feasibility of new projects.
  2. Improving large-scale R&D capability and processing efficiency at our Bacchus Marsh facility
  3. Developing markets with near-term revenues for our products and projects
  4. Restructuring the organisation and right-sizing roles and responsibilities
  5. These key result areas (KRA’s) and the relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) of each staff member, give us the day to day focus as we embark on the challenge of meeting our strategic objectives.

India Project

This world-first collaboration involves the joint development of our Coldry and Matmor technologies via a research and development (R&D) project in India to the value of ~AUD70M.

The objective of the project is to successfully deploy a pilot scale integrated Coldry-Matmor plant as a prelude to broader commercial rollout in India and globally.

Our partners in the project, NLC India Limited (NLCIL) and NMDC Limited (NMDC) are Indian government public sector undertakings (PSU’s) with a combined market value of ~$10 Bn.

NLCIL is India’s lignite (brown coal) custodian, with an extensive mining and power generation portfolio.

NMDC is India’s largest iron ore miner and the 10th largest iron ore miner in the world, producing over 35 million tonnes in 2017.

NLCIL and NMDC will each contribute 50% of the ~AUD30 million project capital cost in return for a 51% stake in the project entity.

As we stand today, with NLC board approval in hand, we await the NMDC board approval after which our India project is poised to proceed through to ‘financial close’ upon signing of the detailed Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA).

Following ‘financial close’ our partners, NLCIL and NMDC will release funding in parallel with ECT providing the Project Bond and the project will commence, ushering in the transition from project development, to project execution.

We all agree that delivering this project has been the most important objective for our Company, and the team has worked diligently to achieve this outcome.

Bacchus March High Volume Test Facility (HVTF)

Our facility, located 50km northeast of Melbourne on the outskirts of the town of Bacchus Marsh, has been the focus of our fundamental and applied research and development for both Coldry and Matmor since 2006.

Its importance has continued to grow over the past year, with ongoing testing and improvement of our technologies. Our facility not only allows us to generate new knowledge, it also allows us to do so in an environment where we have a high level of control and protection over the test work that leads to new discoveries and future value.

Our Coldry facility has been re-engineered to be productive and efficient enough to provide the closest approximation we can currently achieve at small scale, of a commercial application of Coldry, with the intention that the resultant product from our research and development activities is able to be sold as solid fuel into end-user demonstration projects and other commercial customers.

Progress with the Bacchus Marsh plant and the subsequent delivery of our R&D programs ensure that the intellectual property that we currently have under patent protection will be rigorously tested and continually improved.

Our technology suite features vertical and horizontal integration across our proprietary processes and equipment. This approach is intentional, allowing us to develop further intellectual property within the protective framework of our pre-existing technologies and know-how.

The Bacchus Marsh HVTF provides the essential infrastructure and apparatus to further develop and refine our intellectual property through on-going R&D as well as prepare for, and support, data collection and project specific designs for future demonstration and commercial projects.

Over time, our research has led to the accumulation of a more sophisticated and detailed understanding of underlying processes which has, in turn, led to new intellectual property, particularly around the Packed Bed Dryer (the 2012 Design for Tender program with engineering firm Arup).

More recently, the innovation process has led to new discoveries around the chemical reactions underpinning Matmor, resulting in two new technologies; HydroMOR and COHgen.

HydroMOR is the subject of an international patent application (PCT) lodged last November (2017), while fundamental research activity has commenced on our newest discovery, COHgen, with the aim of lodging a provisional patent in due course.

As we head into 2019, our HVTF continues to provide critical support to our R&D programs that will allow us to continue pursuing IP protection as we develop our technologies.

Developing markets for our products and projects

Supported by our ongoing R&D effort, and consistent with our commercialisation strategy, ECT continued a period of establishing operational revenues to underpin the feasibility of our technology suite.

Last year we began developing markets that have near-term potential for generating operational revenues.

Over this period, in tandem with the upgrade programs at the HVTF, we developed a pipeline of sales leads, culminating in our announcement during July of a $1.3 million five-year deal to provide a turnkey solution for ‘steam services’ for a Victorian customer.

The deal includes the end-to-end delivery of steam including ongoing operation and maintenance. Importantly, it will run on Coldry solid fuel produced from our HVTF at Bacchus Marsh.

We’re currently engaged with several other existing and potential customers to develop a similar solution and anticipate that over the coming year, we will continue to develop local opportunities, improve our operational capabilities and establish contracts for the supply of solid fuel pellets and turnkey boiler and steam solutions.

Building on our endeavours in the local market for utility-scale heat applications, the economic landscape in Victoria has become increasingly conducive to larger scale deployment of our Coldry technology, justifying further exploration of the broader market.

Last year (September 2017) we commenced the early stages of a feasibility study for a commercial scale, zero emissions, solid fuel pellet (Coldry) demonstration plant in the Latrobe Valley. We partnered with the owners of Yallourn mine and power station, Energy Australia, narrowing down the site options and identifying integration requirements. This led to a compelling business case, providing a clear path for increased capacity beyond our HVTF.

Progress on this feasibility study was suspended whilst we dedicated resources to completing the India deal but as was announced on the 28th of November, we have restarted the next stage of feasibility. If a project were to proceed on the basis of this feasibility, it would become the largest, most environmentally friendly, economical gateway to upgraded brown coal in Australia and with the current State Government policy statement of the "Future Use of Brown Coal”, ECT is in a good position to test Coldry's application on our local market.

A Coldry plant in the Latrobe Valley would aim to not only improve energy affordability and reliability to businesses threatened by rising electricity and natural gas costs, but also help realise the potential of brown coal in Australia for prospects such as High- Efficiency Low Emissions (HELE) power plants, low emission hydrogen production, fertiliser production and other downstream chemical conversion methods.

As we approach ‘financial close’ for our India project and advance local market opportunities we look forward to continuing all these efforts through 2019 and on behalf of the board of directors, executive and staff, we thank you, our shareholders for your continued, invaluable support.

For further information, contact:

Glenn Fozard – Chairman           [email protected]

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We recently invited questions from investors via the stock market forum, Hot Copper.

The answers below contain no new material information, just elaboration on previously released information.

Thanks again to all those who took the time to seek clarification.

1) Cam T via email:

Regarding the below $3.5m bond, when does it have to be paid? For it to have any purpose, surely it must be before construction starts? If so, how will it be paid? Do you envision a placement?

Also, it's amazing that NMDC only have one director who can sign off on the project, and he just happens to be absent on the crucial day. Why isn't there more than one director able to sign off? Also, more minister presentations? Why not AFTER the signing?

Answer:

The bond is required to be established ahead of NMDC and NLCIL's financial contribution to the project account, and thus ahead of construction. The duration of the bond will be from commencement of construction to completion of commissioning.

The bond will expire undrawn at the completion of commissioning so long as ECT does not withdraw from the project before this time.

The purpose of the bond is to align ECT financial interest over the period in which NLCIL and NMDC will be expending circa $30m in capital funding. ECT commitment is to 49% of OPEX and as such, the majority of this expenditure does not occur until after commissioning, during the actual operation of the Pilot Plant.

Notwithstanding the above, the bond must be realisable to its value in the unlikely event we do not proceed. Hence, the bond will need to be, at least partially funded by cash. To this end, we are investigating options to be able to fund this bond including Government funding and securitising the ELF loan book, amongst other options.

Regarding the delay by NMDC in approving the signing of the RCA at their Board meeting: the absent director was not the only director that could sign off the project. He is, however, the director sponsoring the project. His absence simply meant his agenda items were deferred.

2) Marcmarcoz:

Ministry Briefings;

This seems like another added introduction to the government hierarchy of India; do we take this as a positive or negative?

Is there potentially more to this deal? Will Modi be at the Briefing?

It seems the Indian Government seem very interested on the update of this little old project. Until we get more details of the commercial terms, I suggest shareholders think about how far India want to take HydroMor (Matmor) and potentially Coldry–obviously, they are not looking at just an R&D plant with an added Commercial Plant.

Answer:

As mentioned in our announcement on 19 Nov:

This briefing process is aimed at bringing all stakeholders up to date with the project and is a necessary process to facilitate preparation and coordination of the signing ceremony and subsequent execution of administrative requirements through to ‘financial close’.

The objective of the project is the commercial deployment of Coldry and Matmor, of which the R&D phase is a necessary step.

The commercialisation of Coldry and Matmor technologies in India aligns strongly with stated industrial capacity growth (steel), resource utilisation (lignite), and government policy.

3) NewToItAll:

  1. With the Indian Government Owned Companies holding 51% ownership and thus voting rights, what assurances does ECT have that the future Commercial Royalty Rate for ECT technologies will be at a Fair and profitable rate to ECT?
    As in, what is stopping the 51% ownership voting for the Royalty rate to be extremely low, so as to give the Indian Steel Industry that additional cost competitive edge? This would significantly boost the Indian Steel Market and benefit the Indian Economy, whilst ECT gets 49% of basically nothing.
  2. With the R&D Plant being Royalty free, but requiring ECT to provide 49% of the running costs, what measures are in place to prevent the Venture running at a large loss for 5 years, sapping ECT funds to the point where ECT is now in a very weak bargaining position for future commercial term discussions?

Answer:

The royalty rate is determined by a formula, set against global benchmarks, and governed by a clause in the RCA. The SPV, and its equity holders will be bound by that clause. Any change by the SPV is not determined by a simple majority and will need to be agreed to by ECT.

As previously mentioned, an overview of the project, including stages and timing, will be provided following the signing of the RCA.

The budgets for the R&D project will be set by the Project Control Committee (PCC) and ECT will lead project execution, driving deliverables.

4) Arion:

There is lots of talk on SKY news about the coal use in Latrobe Valley. Does ECT has any expectations from that region yet?

Answer:

See the announcement released 28/11.

5) dopod07:

What is your opinion on this NMDC approval delay? Any hidden agenda?

Why require another briefing from Ministries again?

How transparent are NLC and NMDC with signing and project moving forward?

Answer:

We understand the frustrations caused by any delays.

Despite the deferral at NMDC’s board meeting on 13 Nov of the approval to sign the RCA, we’re comfortable with NMDC’s plan to bring forward their December board meeting to provide the anticipated approval.

The Ministry briefings are (a) reflective of the status and value of the project, (b) interest in the project, and (c) are part of the preparatory activity ahead of the signing ceremony.

6) Giddyup:

What part of the 35 million is going towards the Coldry module? The Coldry module will be around 60,000 tonnes per annum capacity whereas the commercial Coldry module will be around 170kT. How much will a 170kT module cost roughly? Is 60kT coldry plant deemed commercial? Why are we building a 60kT coldry plant when it will be less than twice the size of the upgraded Bacchus Marsh pilot plant?

Answer:

The high-level break down is capex for the R&D Pilot Plant include ~AUD18M for Coldry and ~AUD12M Matmor and opex of ~AUD5M.

As investors will be aware, smaller scale involves higher capital intensity and lower economies of scale. R&D plant is not intended or expected to be commercial, though output may be sold, providing cash to offset expenditure.

Current estimates indicate a 170 ktpa plant in India would cost 40% more than a 60ktpa Coldry plant designed for the R&D stage of the India project.

The Coldry component of the R&D phase of the India project is considered a small-scale demonstration plant. The aim of the plant is to (a) validate scale up from the base version of the BM pilot plant (x5-10) for the production of solid fuel, and (b) do so for the manufacture of composite pellets for Matmor.

The 170ktpa Coldry module is a large-scale demonstration plant. These descriptions align with the AusIndustry R&D Tax Incentive requirements and our advance finding.

7) stampycat:

Probably silly questions - But thinking ahead are you able to provide any information around the future stages planned on the adjacent land regarding the anticipated scale of:

  • Coldry Tpa of a Commercial plant, and how many modules make up this.
  • Matmor Tpa of a Demonstration plant

If +/- 300mil construction cost:

  • How will this be funded by the SPV? Are ECT expected to fund 49% extra budget capex?
  • When will basic/ initial thoughts on sales pricing structures, profit margins around the production of above be expected to be release?
  • Do we still have a royalty figure/ system in place per tonne?
  • Is the above information in the RCA?

Answer:

The TEF study, which formed the business case for proceeding with the R&D investment, identified 500,000 tonnes per annum of steel output as the minimum desirable commercial footprint for an integrated Coldry / Matmor plant. The cost estimate was ~AUD300M.

The SPV to be formed after completion of the R&D Project will be for the sole purpose of licensing the technology. The cost of any commercial-scale plant will be funded by third parties i.e. not the SPV.

This does not prevent NLCIL, NMDC or ECT from investing in a commercial plant however they would choose to do this in their own right, not under the SPV.

We have provided an overview of the Revenue Model, which includes this basic information.

The royalty paid under a technology license, together with other revenue streams, are outlined in our Revenue Model overview.

These commercial terms are covered by the RCA.

The 500,000 tpa integrated steelmaking facility remains the notional target capacity contemplated by the parties following successful R&D outcomes. The identified land can accommodate this capacity. Other locations at NLCIL could accommodate further Coldry and Matmor capacity.

In parallel to the integrated Coldry / Matmor Pilot Plant project, NLCIL has asked ECT to participate in an additional R&D program preparing a draft analysis of lignite drying technologies including a standalone Coldry plant.

As part of the additional R&D program, NLCIL, with the support of ECT, will identify attractive markets for upgraded lignite products ranging from power generation through to conversion processes delivering hydrocarbon products (liquid, gas, urea).

8) Pies:

I was wondering if you were able to give a projection of our financial situation going forward. The outgoings for the coming years, our available funds and the expectation of how much financial return over coming years?

Will we be able to keep the home fires burning as well as have deep commitment in India?

I realise it’s not possible to be overly accurate, and it’s complicated, but a ball park estimate of when we will start returning a profit?

The other thing is; we pay a penalty if we say, ‘forget it’. Is there a deadline for the Indian companies to bring this to commercial stage eg loss of rights?

It has been an eventful period for the company looking forward to progressive prosperous future imo, thanks.

Answer:

As a listed company, the board manages capital very closely, reviews expenditure and budgets every month and is audited on these twice a year. Please refer to our Annual and Half-year financial reports for data and comment on the company’s financial position.

We have recently released an overview of the Revenue Model. This provides information on the mechanisms for generating revenue and our targets & timeframes.

There is a provision in the RCA for ECT to provide a bond during the period from the start of construction to completion of commissioning. If ECT were to exit the project during this time, then we would forfeit the value of the Bond.

ECT, NLCIL and NMDC will not be responsible for delivering the construction or commissioning of the Pilot Plant. This will be contracted to experienced independent engineering firms with the capability to deliver in the timeframe established for the project.

The SPV will be responsible for licensing the technologies, not NLCIL or NMDC. Clearly, following successful R&D, the objective is to deploy Matmor and Coldry at NLCIL’s site, and more broadly.

9) SP3:

Now that the deal is almost done are you going to issue the Indian partners up to 300m shares @3.2c as approved by shareholders a couple years ago?

Answer:

No. The approval for Resolution 6 at the 2016 AGM expired after 3 months.

10) Samfiodiving:

Ref commercial tech licence Australia, your update states: “ECT will retain the right to license its pre-existing Coldry IP in Australia.”

No mention of Matmor. How do we stand in Australia with regards to the Matmor IP once proven hopefully up at scale does this mean any uptake in Australia would go through the SPV in India under the 49 - 51% deal or would we retain 100%?

Thanks in advance.

Answer:

To clarify, ECT retains the right to licence pre-existing Coldry IP in Australia. This means we do not need permission from the SPV to issue a Coldry licence here in Australia.

In relation to Matmor, we state in the same update (19 Nov 2018):

“Any future use of the Combined IP (that is, pre-existing IP together with any new project IP) will require a licence to be issued by the SPV and will be royalty bearing under the Global Royalty Share Structure.”

“All royalty income generated during the R&D Phase, and under the subsequent SPV License to ECT, will be distributed in proportion to each party’s shareholding in the project SPV.”

As such, the SPV can issue a licence for Matmor projects in Australia and revenue will be apportioned according to shareholding (49% ECT).

11) Giddyup

  • Will there be enough detail in the revenue model to do a rough valuation? (concern to get new investors onboard if this is lacking in information?)
  • Will we get a timeline which will include commercialisation of both tech's?
  • Think someone else has mentioned this, what happens to funding of the commercial plant once the pilot plant is built. Is ect expected to contribute?
  • Is the focus of nlc and nmdc solely on Matmor?

Answer:

The Revenue Model announcement provides an overview of the revenue mechanisms, target timelines for commercialisation and target volumes.

Investors can take that information and analyse with respect to current market prices for coal and steel.

ECT has made no commitment to funding of a future commercial plant. The SPV to be formed after successful completion of the R&D phase of the India project will be for the sole purpose of licensing the technology. The cost of any commercial-scale plant will be funded by third parties i.e. not the SPV.

This does not prevent NLCIL, NMDC or ECT from investing in a commercial plant however they would choose to do this in their own right, not under the SPV.

The focus of our partners has primarily been on Matmor, as this represents the highest value opportunity for their businesses and for India.

Coldry is of interest to NMDC insofar as it’s integral to Matmor and provides a solution to iron ore fines smelting and an alternative to coking coal.

NLCIL’s interest in Coldry is more aligned to their aspirations around horizontal diversification of lignite utilisation i.e. black coal power station feedstock and higher-value coal conversion processes.

12) Stalktock:

Hi ECT Rep,

Thanks for the opportunity. I look forward to all responses.

Please consider the following, and only reply to those that you feel are relevant:

  • What value does the ECT management feel engagement on Hot Copper provides?
  • Are you aware and have you been keeping up to speed with the thread ECT shareholders adding value on Hot Copper?
  • Does the ECT management team feel shareholder perspectives, views and behaviour plays an important role in a company’s success?
  • How does ECT management feel past performance reflects on current shareholder and market trust?
  • Can shareholders help in any way to improve the trust for other shareholders or potential future investors?
  • Does ECT hold any view relative to the main questions asked at the start of the above-mentioned thread:
    • How can ECT shareholders help add value to the company?
    • What actions and behaviours from shareholders will make us appealing to future investors?

For the people who have contributed their input into providing their feedback and suggestions on the above questions, does ECT wish to provide any response (please refer to thread if further info required) on any of the following:

  • Talk to brokers
  • Don't reply to threads trashing company and BOD
  • Capitalize on threads being being read by whole new audience
  • Add value as a company - might even benefit Hot Copper (HOT)
  • Stop replying to trolls
  • Contacting news outlets, stock market blogs, Motley fool etc... and with respect to when strategic timing might be for this
  • Stop chasing the small gains
  • Voting system on trolls
  • Hold management to account
  • opportune company image marketing
  • Encourage those who stopped contributing in the past, to return
  • Require senior executives to bear the risks of ownership just as shareholders do
  • Reward CEOs and other senior executives for delivering superior long-term returns and build their success on a performance-based culture
  • Ask ECT thoughts on consolidation
  • suggest to ECT to explore other revenue streams (e.g.similar to brighte.com.au)

Thanks, and let us know if any of the above need clearing up.

Answer:

This question is broad-ranging.

Engagement on HC with shareholders has primarily focused on providing accurate information in response to reasonable questions raised.

By joining the discussion in this forum we’ve been able to clarify and elaborate. The feedback from shareholders has been positive and while we can’t monitor every thread, we will continue to engage on HC.

Can shareholders help in any way to improve the trust for other shareholders or potential future investors? In short, by seeking clarification direct from the company, shareholders can ensure they receive accurate responses to their queries. This helps shareholders to present accurate information when posting and alerts us to potential negative speculation that could benefit from direct attention.

It never helps a company to have negative comments in public forums, but this cannot be prevented.

As we progress through each milestone, ECT will consider how we engage brokers, investors and media. We’ll continue to seek ways to add value.

In terms of media coverage, we could spend a lot of time and money trying to get media to cover us right now. However, based on feedback from the journalists who previously covered us, we need to get the deal signed and reach financial close before we can start to vie for serious attention.

In terms of ‘requiring’ senior exec’s to bear the risk of ownership, they already do. See page 52 of the 2018 Annual Report. Key Management Personnel holds just under 160M shares. The broader team’s holding brings it to around 220M shares.

Moving forward, performance-based staff incentives will be considered.

As for the topic of consolidation, that remains on the agenda and appropriate accounting and legal advice will be taken on structure and timing. Traditionally, consolidations tend to see a short-term drop in market cap, so timing should ideally aim to coincide with positive share price momentum.

13) Justintonation:

When the current crop of financial information is confirmed by our partners signing, is it your intention to brief Arrowhead (or some other similar entity) on the financial model with a view to getting a fresh valuation of the India Project published? How about ECT the company as a whole?

Do you think it's an appropriate time to conduct shareholder tours of BM again sometime soon?

Answer:

The release of the Revenue Model overview may allow investors to form a view on potential value.

Regarding pilot plant tours, we’re not planning any, however, we are planning a virtual tour of the plant which will appear as a video on our website in due course.

14) Arion:

I believe NLCIL will sell the lignite to SPV.

The same IMO with Iron Ore from NMDC.

That expense to the SPV will be into GROSS NET, before the profit is moved to SPV??

If I am correct, then will there be any money from the Gross net paying for coldry/matmor license?

Or Coldry Matmor is excluded because the partners invest the money

As far I can understand the setup, SPV will receive profits only.

Answer:

It’s important to distinguish between the R&D phase and any future commercial phase.

During the R&D phase, the lignite and iron ore will be provided by NLCIL and NMDC, respectively

The cost of the supply of lignite and iron ore will be funded as part of the OPEX of the project (i.e. 25.5% NLCIL, 25.5% NMDC and 49% ECT).

The total cost of the lignite and iron ore is not expected to be more than 10% of the overall OPEX for the project.

Any sales that eventuate from the R&D output will simply help to partially offset R&D costs. Profits are not anticipated, and the RCA does not provide for royalties to ECT during the R&D phase.

Following successful outcomes from the R&D phase, the SPV entity will be the licensor to commercial projects, whether those projects be carried out by NLCIL/NMDC or by others.

The SPV to be formed after the successful completion of the R&D phase of the India project will be for the sole purpose of licensing the technology. The cost of any commercial-scale plant will be funded by third parties i.e. not the SPV. The SPV will receive revenue from royalties and are independent of raw material costs.

SPV profit will be passed to the shareholders – NLCIL, NMDC and ECT per the shareholding, 25.5:25.5:49. The SPV will have some direct compliance and administrative overheads, but these are expected to be modest.

Environmental Clean Technologies Limited (ASX: ECT) (ECT or Company) is pleased to announce the commencement of its feasibility study for the deployment of a proposed 600,000 tonne per annum lignite upgrading plant in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, utilising its patented, zero-emission Coldry technology.

Key points:

The proposed project, to be located at EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, seeks to enable the lower-CO2 use of lignite, creating a ‘gateway’ to a broader range of existing and emerging applications.

The feasibility study follows the initial scoping study completed in November 2017 and aims to support the Company’s Australian strategy for the further commercialisation of its Coldry technology.

Of interest to shareholders will be the increased scope of the planned project since it was first proposed.

In the Company’s announcement on 15 November 2017, a plant capacity of 170,000 tonnes per annum was identified as the initial starting point. Further project development activity over the past year has resulted in identification of broader opportunities, both locally and internationally, to support a substantially increased scale. The Company is continuing to qualify these opportunities.

ECT Executive Chairman, Glenn Fozard commented, “The emphasis and focus on our India project has taken necessary priority over the past year, consuming most of our resources. This resulted in the need to take additional time following the completion of the scoping study to identify the key drivers to underpin our potential Latrobe Valley project. With our India project nearing financial close, the time is right to start the feasibility study.

“We mentioned last November that building a zero-emissions Coldry plant aligns well with the recently returned State Government’s ‘Future Use of Brown Coal’ policy. The industrial and political environments are supportive of technologies that deliver low or zero-emissions solutions to higher value use of lignite.

“The domestic utility heat and steam market, most of which switched to gas following the closure of the brown coal briquette plant in Morwell in 2014, has suffered from a doubling of the gas price and tripling of the wholesale electricity price since 2015. We’ve progressed local market development and testing of Coldry product from our pilot plant at Bacchus Marsh, northwest of Melbourne, signing a 5-year $1.3 million contract for the provision of turnkey ‘steam services’ (announcement 9 August 2018) and establishing a viable solid fuel alternative to expensive gas that can be blended with biomass”.

“Our vision for the proposed Latrobe Valley project is to establish a scalable ‘gateway’ application, enabling a broader, more environmentally sensitive use of lignite which will support economic activity and employment for the region. This project holds significant interest in providing increased energy security through diversification of Victoria’s energy solutions and longer-term interest as a gateway enabler to the deployment of High Efficiency Low Emissions (HELE) electricity production if required and feasible, and low-emission chemical production, like hydrogen from Victoria’s world-class lignite assets.”

Coldry to deliver improved economic and environmental outcomes

Coldry converts low-value brown coal into high-calorific value, low-moisture solid fuel pellets suitable as a gateway feedstock for applications such as:

Coldry utilises low-grade waste heat, producing the world’s most cost-effective brown coal fuel pellet via a drying solution with zero direct emissions.

The key to the efficiency of the Coldry process, which takes lignite moisture from 60% down to between 10% and 15%, is the intended utilisation of ‘free’ low temperature waste heat from an adjacent power station.

The use of waste heat would minimise ‘paid’ energy in the process, keeping the cost down.

An environmental upside for the host power station is the significant reduction of the requirements for cooling water, reducing water taken from the local environment.

Next steps

Over the next four months, the Company will resource several key deliverables including:

The feasibility study, once complete, will allow the Company to determine whether it is economically, commercially and technically feasible to proceed with a Coldry project in the Latrobe Valley.

In addition, ECT will progress upgrades at its Coldry high volume test facility at Bacchus Marsh, as well as a number of key infrastructure support assets, improving raw coal access and demonstrating our steam and boiler packages to Victoria and Tasmania.

ECT recognises the potential for improved brown coal use in helping balance affordability, reliability and emissions intensity across the nation’s energy system. The establishment of a large scale, zero-emission Coldry plant would take the Latrobe Valley one step closer to becoming, once again, the national flagship for reliable, affordable energy production in the context of an emissions constrained environment.

Glenn Fozard commented, “High Efficiency, Low Emissions (HELE) power stations, hydrogen production and fertilizer production are all potential industries of the future for the Latrobe Valley and they all need dry brown coal. Coldry can provide this economically and with zero-emissions.”

Background to Latrobe Valley Coldry project

Running parallel to the Company’s continued R&D programs to support its India project, 2017 saw the re-emergence of project development opportunities in the Latrobe Valley.

Formal preparations for the feasibility program for the construction of a large-scale Coldry demonstration plant in the Latrobe Valley began in July 2017 (see announcement 12 July 2017).

Titled the ‘Gateway Fuel Victoria Project’, this initiative stands in strong alignment with government policy and regional development directives and responds to clear energy market signals.

In line with the established project planning structure, the feasibility study program is divided into several phases, including:

The feasibility study will aim to establish the business case for the construction of a large-scale Coldry plant in the Latrobe Valley.

The Company will provide further updates on the progress and outcomes of the feasibility study in due course.

 

For further information, contact:

Glenn Fozard – Chairman           [email protected]

Environmental Clean Technologies Limited (ASX: ECT) (ECT or Company) is pleased to advise that the board of NLC India Limited (NLCIL) has approved the Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA) for the Company’s India project.

Key points:

The Company recently entered Voluntary Suspension (13 November 2018), following an earlier Trading Halt (9 November 2018), pending the outcome of board meetings by its India project partners to consider approving the signing of the RCA.

NLCIL held its board meeting as scheduled yesterday (14 November 2018) and have confirmed that their board has provided the anticipated approval.

NMDC held their board meeting on 13 November 2018, however, consideration of the RCA approval was deferred due to the unexpected absence of the Director sponsoring the project. ECT is currently in discussion with NMDC to confirm whether the proposal will proceed via a circular resolution or an additional board meeting during this month. This process is not expected to result in material delays as NMDC have previously provided in-principle approval subject to NLCIL board approval, which is now in hand.

ECT Chairman Glenn Fozard commented, “We’re extremely pleased to have received NLCILS’s approval and look forward to NMDC following suit shortly.

“Once NMDC have formalised their approval to sign the RCA, we’ll release an overview of the commercial terms and the expected timing for the signing ceremony, followed by our revised revenue model, ahead of the AGM on 30 November.”

The Company requests that the Voluntary Suspension be extended until Friday 16 November.

For further information, contact:

Glenn Fozard – Chairman           [email protected]

Environmental Clean Technologies Limited (ASX: ECT) (ECT or Company) is pleased to advise it has received its 2018 financial year R&D Tax Incentive Refund.

Key points:

The refund of ~AUD1.673 million is in line with accruals disclosed in the 2018 Annual Report and repays in full the current R&D loan provided by New York-based financier ‘Brevet’.

A surplus of ~AUD282,000 will be allocated to working capital in support of the Company’s priority initiatives including the India Project.

ECT Chief Operating Officer Mr Jim Blackburn noted: “This year’s refund has been processed and received in record time, reflecting the continuous refinement of our accounting and loan facility management processes, driven by our CFO Martin Hill.”

Background

The R&D Tax Incentive is a program managed by AusIndustry aimed at supporting eligible research activities.

Activities in India and Australia related to the research and development of the Company’s Coldry process are covered by an advance finding and overseas ruling. An application for the same ruling on Matmor has been submitted and an outcome is expected in due course.

ECT Chairman Mr Glenn Fozard commented, “The R&D Tax Incentive program supports innovation, both in terms of the valuable research generated by companies like ours, and innovation around the financing of that research. It has seen the emergence of financial products such as that provided by Brevet, which allows the forward factoring of anticipated refunds, providing additional cashflow to the business as we work toward delivering on our objectives.”

 

For further information, contact:

Glenn Fozard – Chairman                       [email protected]

We recently held a Q&A on the stock market forum, Hot Copper.

Below is a transcription of the questions and answers.

Questions have been edited for readability.

Question 1:

1.1 India Project:

This point was previously made by @onlymoney on this forum in May 2018 (ref: https://hotcopper.com.au/posts/33168295/single).

It was stated:

Another reason ECT may have stepped back to 49% ownership is due to the Foreign Direct Investment rules (FDI). This is the maximum amount of Foreign equity allowed in a coal/lignite PSU.

Can you please elaborate if the above influenced the decision to reduce our stake to 49% and if it didn’t, what was the main reason we reduced our stake in the project to 49%?

1.2 India Project:

From the update released to market September 11, 2017:

In his first act as the CMD of ECT India, Mr Moore has commenced the selection process for an additional resident Director, as well as staff to support the increased operational tempo. These appointments are expected to occur over the coming months.”.

Can you please provide an update on the appointment of an additional resident director of ECT India and the appointment of additional staff? It’s currently October 2018 so did you mean “12 months or more” when you stated “coming months? Please provide some clarity around your statement from September 2017.

1.3 Revenue Model:

It was stated that this would be provided to the market in July. It is now October, are you planning to release the revenue model in the near future? Without this information how do you believe prospective investors can put a value on the business and India project?

Answer

  1. Ownership structure: A number of reasons drove the 49:51 split. One of those was the FDI rules for a PSU. A significant influence in ECT agreeing to this change was the partners' agreement to fund the costs of the project to 150 Cr. Once we have completed the RCA we can elaborate on the details behind this decision.
  2. Resident Director: Santosh Agrawal has been appointed as the resident director in Dec 2017. Additional staff have been selected and we are awaiting finalisation of the RCA before we finalise employment contracts.
  3. Revenue model: the revenue model update was intended to be released just prior to the conclusion of the detailed agreement (RCA). This remains the intent. The delays of RCA signing have subsequently led to corresponding delays in the release of the revenue model.

Question 2:

MPA, MOU, TPA. Now we are a looking at an RCA?

Who is driving the changes to the agreement titles and why can’t ECT seem to lock down the name?

Answer:

The changes are driven by the evolving and progressive nature of discussions with our partners in the context of this being a first-of-a-kind agreement, partnership and project for them. Feedback from various stakeholders and advisers also influence how various elements are referred to. Importantly, the substance and intent remain the same as originally communicated, regardless of a change in ‘label’.

We do note and recognise that this may seem confusing for shareholders and so we will do our best to connect the previously used labels with any new label.

Question 3:

Is the company in the position to claim R&D tax incentive given it's selling Coldry product and the Indian partners are financing the India project?

I believe the maximum rebate is $500k.

Do you claim for 3 different technologies; Coldry, Matmor, Hydromor. Is that correct?

Answer:

  1. Yes, ECT continues to conduct eligible R&D activity. The R&D Tax Incentive guidelines provide for the sale of incidental output from R&D activity so long as the funds received are netted off against the eligible expenses (the feedstock rule).
  2. There is currently no maximum, however, a change to legislation is being proposed that caps the R&D cash refund to $4ma. At time of writing this, this proposed change hasn’t been approved.
  3. R&D activities related to Coldry, Matmor/Hydromor and COHgen are all eligible.

Question 4:

Assuming construction commences are there agreed timeframes for completion or can we expect this phase to be a drawn out for years as well?

Assuming the result of the R&D phase is compelling, will the commercial phase require a repeat timeframe similar to the present process to upgrade to the next output target or could we expect a less arduous path forward?

Answer:

Following financial close, a project overview will be provided, including stages and targeted timelines.

Following successful R&D outcomes, planning for the commercial phase can be refined and timeframes outlined.

Our forthcoming update on the revenue model will provide broad guidance on targeted timelines.

Question 5:

Assuming that the demo stage is successful, will ECT have to contribute 49% of the cost of the commercial phase? Or will NLCIL & NMDC be funding it 50%/50%?

Answer:

ECT is not required to fund any of the subsequent commercial phase and the JV is not the vehicle for housing commercial assets.

Question 7:

Can you please provide some more details on the Form DIR-12-11102018 signed 11/10/18?

Change in Directors?

Answer:

This relates to a statutory filing of Glenn Fozard's ID proof for his Indian directorship.

Question 8:

Hi, will this (Research Collaboration Agreement) be signed in November or we should expect more delay?

Answer:

Based on the information at hand, NLCIL will hold their board meeting in early November and have confirmed their intent to include the approval of the RCA.

Question 9:

I read that a few years ago a man came to an AGM you held, and he represented the Monash company. He came to give confidence that he would deposit 5 million dollars to ECT and he gave ECT a promise on paper. But he never gave that money to ECT.

If nothing is signed by the sunset date and nothing is signed before the AGM I assume the India delegates are going to come to the AGM to spread confidence that they will fulfil their agreement with ECT eventually.

What assurances are in place that if the India delegates do share confidence to shareholders that there will not be a repeat of the Monash failure?

Answer:

We expect that the partners will attend the AGM once the RCA is approved and signed.

NLCIL and NMDC are publicly listed companies with publicly available information on their financial capacity. There is no comparison to any of the proposed partners of the past.

Question 10:

Given the $1.3 million contract previously announced, are you still entitled to an R&D rebate?

Answer:

Yes. The eligibility criteria relate primarily to the activity related to the expenditure.

ECT also has a lot of accumulated losses which would need to be offset first before we lost the cash refund component of R&D tax incentive program.

Question 11:

11.1 New Boiler: You previously stated;

"Feasibility study started for demonstration biomass boiler at the High Volume Test Facility (HVTF) at Bacchus Marsh."

Will this boiler replace what's currently at Bacchus March? If so, what would its output be regarding how much volume the plant could sustain?

Can ECT get a grant for this new innovation to reduce our R&D spending cap?

How much money will this save per tonne of product?

Answer:

We are looking at all grant options that may apply; however, the cost is part of our eligible R&D activity under the R&D tax incentive program. The saving to be gained from this boiler system will be defined by the feasibility study, yet to be completed.

11.2 Legal Review of RCA:

"Over the past 2 weeks, ECT Chairman, Glenn Fozard, together with CMD ECT India, Mr Ashley Moore, and Chief Operating Officer, Jim Blackburn have been in India to attend meetings with NLC India Limited (NLCIL), NMDC Limited (NMDC) and Indian Government representatives and to oversee the conclusion of the final compliance and legal review of the Research Collaboration Agreement"

So, has it concluded or not?

Are there any more reviews needed to be completed now that the RCA review has been completed?

Will we know if the RCA updates have been agreed upon prior to the Board meeting?

Answer:

  1. Submitted to NLCIL.
  2. NLCIL have not added any further requirements ahead of the Board meeting in early November. If there are any material changes to the RCA, they will be communicated.

11.3 Project promotion: Regarding the promotion activities, has ECT been approached by funds or Instos seeking investment?

Answer: Any discussions of this nature would likely be confidential until their conclusion after which it would be announced to the market.

11.4 ELF: Is it possible for ECT Finance to set up an Escrow facility for those current shareholders willing to offload 5million plus shares for these new investors at an agreed price - thus reducing the unnecessary volume spikes?

Answer: The ASX market and not ECTF would be the mechanism to allow your hypothetical event to occur.

11.5 Victorian contract: Reading the 9th Aug. supply contact in Victoria it states:

"5-year supply contract for Coldry solid fuel to support delivery of process steam via an existing solid fuel boiler system",  "Lead-in analysis indicates we may be able to deliver potential savings of 15% per annum for our client"

I read the 9th Aug announcement as a straight Coldry supply to solid fuel boiler. Was this announcement always about mixing Coldry with biomass? If not, will this increase the savings for the client?

Answer: The system is intended to run on 100% Coldry but can also continue to take solid fuel biomass.

11.6 Activated carbon market: Also can we hear more about this activated carbon market that was mentioned a while ago?

Answer: Your question is not specific enough and I'm afraid we don’t have enough time to outline a response during this Q&A session.

Question 12:

On a typical design and construct project, the budget for drawings is between 5% to 20% ($1.8 million to $7.2 million) of the total project. I would expect that the costs for a first of kind project the design would be closer to the upper end of the spectrum.

My question is; has any progress been made on the issued for construction drawings under the disciplines: Structural, Mechanical, Piping, Electrical and Instrumentation. If there are no drawings, meaningful work cannot commence until their acceptance by the Joint Venture (JV).

In earlier announcements mention was made of an electrical sub-station, is the sub-station within the scope of the ECT Project? I'd imagine if the sub-station is not ready the ECT plants won't be operating so, therefore, ECT would take a keen interest in the substations construction.

Has the construction company nominated persons who are acceptable to the JV for the position of Project Manager?

Answer:

  1. The detailed drawings are part of the project and therefore require the parties to reach financial close prior to commencement.
  2. The substation is part of the project.
  3. Following financial close, a detailed overview of the project will be provided, including stages and targeted timelines.

Question 13:

Is the aim of the new plant still to prove Coldry commercial? Are you able to give us the rough output for the new plant if it is just making coal pellets without iron?

Will the revenue model and timeline be released before the AGM?

Has there been any new interest from our recent presentations?

Answer:

  1. Our Coldry R&D plan, as approved under the advance finding, allows for the small-scale demonstration (~60ktpa) in India, followed by a large-scale demonstration (~170ktpa) in Australia. This provides maximum flexibility to the Company in assessing the appropriate commercialisation pathway.
  2. The revenue model will be released before the AGM.
  3. Several parties sought further information following our recent presentation in Dubai.

Environmental Clean Technologies Limited (ASX: ECT) (ECT or Company) is pleased to provide the following update on the progress of its project in India and local activities.

Key points

India

Local Activities

Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA)

Over the past 2 weeks, ECT Chairman, Glenn Fozard, together with CMD ECT India, Mr Ashley Moore, and Chief Operating Officer, Jim Blackburn have been in India to attend meetings with NLC India Limited (NLCIL), NMDC Limited (NMDC) and Indian Government representatives and to oversee the conclusion of the final compliance and legal review of the Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA) as outlined in the Company’s 1 October 2018 announcement.

The CMD’s of both NLCIL and NMDC continue to express clear, strong commitment to the project, acknowledging that the prospect of the project being the largest ever research and development (R&D) collaboration between Australia and India has the eyes of Government keenly directed towards them, driving the complexity of internal requirements and need to undertake rigorous review.

Importantly, ECT has supported this recent review process through the additional support and analysis work provided by ECT’s advisers Corrs Chambers Westgarth (Legal advisers, Australia), Grant Thornton (Tax and Accounting, Mumbai) and Induslaw (Legal and Compliance, Mumbai).

ECT understands that the RCA review report from external consultant Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (L&S) has been completed, and the three companies (NLCIL, NMDC and ECT) will be meeting in Chennai today, October 16 to finalise discussions and agree on an updated RCA ahead of Board approvals.

Commenting from Neyveli, ECT Chief Operating Officer, Jim Blackburn said “As our shareholders are very much aware, this further round of review for finalisation of the RCA has been an important and detailed process, necessary to clear the way for seeking Board approvals from each of the partners scheduled for early in November. While we are aware that NLCIL conducted an earlier Board meeting last Tuesday (9 October 2018) in Delhi to attend to internal compliance matters, we have been told NLCIL will hold an additional Board meeting in the first week of November, seeking approval to proceed. While this is later than the target date previously set by both NLCIL and NMDC (30th October 2018), the parties have agreed that no further extension is required and that the MOU remains on-foot and effective.

“The Board and Executive of ECT are keenly aware that as we approach these final stages of the contracting process, there is increased attention given by our shareholders and the broader market to each detailed step in reaching financial close for the India project. This is to be expected yet does not detract from the need for management to focus on the project implementation as a whole, as it is this approach which will ultimately drive growth in shareholder value. Each of the parallel processes outlined previously including contracting and governance, financing, engineering, resource planning and the like each play a part in the successful delivery of the Pilot plant project and lay the foundation for our progress into commercialisation.”

ECT COO, Jim Blackburn remains in India this week, and together with ECT India CMD Ashley Moore and Chairman Glenn Fozard, will ensure on-the-ground representation by ECT through to signing to provide any further support necessary to facilitate the consideration and approval of the RCA by the Boards of NLCIL and NMDC.

Prior to, and immediately following the expected partner Board approvals, key processes and milestones for the project will include:

Senior delegates from NLCIL have expressed a desire to attend the ECT AGM on November 30, and both NLCIL and NMDC will be invited to attend to jointly present the project to ECT shareholders.

Project Promotion

As previously reported (1 October 2018), in the lead up to financial close of the India project, ECT has been active in a number of global forums in response to growing industry and media interest in the project and its Coldry and Matmor technologies.

These forums provide an important opportunity to develop key strategic links between the R&D stage of the India project and a future pathway for commercial projects.

In addition to media briefings, the following events have recently been completed.

Following the Chairman’s meeting with the Additional Secretary for Ministry of Steel, Rasika Chaube, she presented to the conference in her closing remarks that, “Indian companies are encouraged to JV with foreign companies, particularly those foreign companies that are able to support technology transfer to India in its pursuit of the country’s improving competitive position as the nation seeks to deliver an additional 200 million tonnes of steel output through to 2030.”

Chairman Glenn Fozard commented, “not only does our collaborative project with NLCIL and NMDC meet 8 out of 10 objectives of the Ministry of Steel’s Steel Development Fund’s strategic R&D targets, it’s also structured under preferred arrangements, as expressed by Ms Chaube, of the Government of India’s policy for technology transfer.”

This outcome is a testament to the collaborative approach ECT has taken in listening to its partners’ needs and then converting that into strong commercial structures backed by comprehensive legal and tax planning.

Chairman Glenn Fozard commented further in relation to the India project, “The development of this project has been a long and challenging process, and we acknowledge the patience and, often at times, frustration our shareholders have experienced along this journey. But this is not without reason and reflects the nature of our project as being the largest ever R&D collaboration between Indian and Australian companies. Make no mistake, this is not a throwaway comment, and all shareholders should be proud of the company’s ability to persist and progress such a watershed project, where the recognition of this achievement, and what it means for our company, should only improve. The enormity of effort and work needed to complete a deal like this is difficult to appreciate and accounts for why no other company has achieved the size of R&D collaboration we are aiming to close on soon. We are acutely aware that there is no second prize in the pursuit of such lofty goals and much of the effort will be wasted if we were not able to finalise the project, but the Company and its Board and executive are confident that this will not be the case.”

The Company looks forward to providing further updates as the above activities progress.

Local Activities

Steam Package Contracts - Update

Further to the Company’s announcement of 9 August 2018 highlighting the signing of a $1.3 million, 5-year deal for the provision of a turnkey solution for steam services to a customer in Victoria, Australia, the Company is pleased to advise the first stage of the contract has been completed.

The contract entails:

A key requirement identified during the scoping phase was the need to maximise the operational efficiency of the customer’s boiler system, which was originally designed to run on low-grade biomass such as wood chips and briquetted rice husks, rather than higher-energy solid fuel such as Coldry.

As such, the first phase of the contract entailed the design, fabrication, installation and commissioning of an automated solid fuel feed system designed to optimise Coldry consumption.

Scoping estimates indicate the system will use around half as much Coldry solid fuel compared to biomass. This efficiency is due to Coldry’s lower moisture content, and significantly higher energy value and combustion temperature.

The feed system (shown below) consists of a variable feed-rate hopper and incline screw conveyor, controlled via a computer-automated program.

Commissioning of the system will commence this week, with the provision of ‘process steam’ anticipated to commence under contract in late October.

Boiler Package Contracts - Update

ECT COO Mr Jim Blackburn commented “The Victorian energy market has changed dramatically in the past three years, with wholesale electricity prices trebling since 2015[1] and gas prices doubling[2] over the same period. This has driven many businesses, reliant on industrial scale process heat, to seek alternatives.

“Unfortunately, this has put pressure on local biomass supplies, resulting in shortages and price increases, in addition to existing issues regarding the security of consistent supply. Consumers are turning to expensive stop-gap measures such as diesel. Economically, this is unsustainable, driving business to seek alternative long-term solutions.

“This problem has created an opportunity to sell product from our Coldry R&D facility. Further, following extensive consultation with consumers, it’s clear they want someone to provide a solution that delivers steam, and saves money, allowing them to focus on their core business. This has created an opportunity for ECT, together with leading boiler operator Mecrus, to deliver a turnkey solution tailored to the end user’s equipment and needs.”

Building Strong Relationships with Boiler Manufacturers and Service Providers

ECT is pleased to advise that in support of its strategic boiler and steam package offering to the Victorian and Tasmanian markets, the Company has teamed up with Hi-Tech QLD and John Thompson boilers in addition to Mecrus to provide a complete turnkey solution for biomass boiler systems, specifically designed to accept multi-feedstock fuel, including wood waste, crop stubble and municipal green waste, underpinned by Coldry as the baseload fuel.

This has led to ECT’s first joint tender submission, along with Hi-Tech and John Thompson for the provision a 10MW(th) boiler system to a customer in Tasmania.

ECT is also working closely with these partners to undertake feasibility and pricing for a biomass boiler system on-site at its Bacchus Marsh test facility to replace the current waste oil boiler system.

The market for industrial steam and the boilers required to produce this steam are at a significant cross-road.  Most users have turned away from 100% coal-based boiler systems, and gas-fired systems have become prohibitively expensive. This has seen the next wave of migration towards biomass fuel solutions.

There are still great challenges ahead for users of industrial steam when considering a pure biomass boiler system, including lower efficiency, single fuel dependency, transport and storage issues and shorter equipment lifetime.

ECT aims to solve some of these problems by offering a high-quality boiler system that can utilise variable biomass inputs while also using Coldry.

The intent behind this approach is to be able to deliver a steam solution that allows users the flexibility to choose the biomass that is most suitable (on the basis of cost, quality and supply), while being underpinned by a fuel stock (Coldry) that serves as a consistent, cost-effective base-load.

We expect that at most times, these boiler systems would use <50% Coldry to retain the biomass status, but where quality biomass becomes unavailable, Coldry would ensure continuity of steam production and operations.

Chairman Glenn Fozard commented that “there is an absence of a complete turnkey solution in the Victorian and Tasmanian markets that offers ‘steam over the fence’ to industrial users, while also delivering new equipment and often cheaper monthly operational costs. This requires assembling a high-quality team of end-to-end service providers, covering boiler plant and equipment, installation, operations and maintenance, fuel supply and management and financing. ECT now has that capability.

“The steam and boiler package approach, coupled with equipment financing solutions via our subsidiary, ECT Finance Limited, looks to deliver reliability and affordability, striking a chord in the local market.

“Following the successful rollout of our first contract, and the demonstration of our capability to deliver these packages we will continue to market our turnkey solution across Victoria and Tasmania.”

The Company will provide further updates on its local market activity as projects progress.

 

For further information, contact:

Glenn Fozard – Chairman           [email protected]

 

[1] Source: Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) - https://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-dashboard#average-price-table

[2] Source: Australian Energy Market Regulator (AER) - https://www.aer.gov.au/wholesale-markets/wholesale-statistics/victorian-gas-market-average-daily-weighted-prices-by-quarter

 

Following on from recent Q&A sessions, the Company encouraged 'Hot Copper' participants to send in questions earlier this week.

Some answers may not be able to be disclosed due to sensitivity or disclosure obligations.

Questions have been edited for clarity and brevity.

As always, shareholders may call or email questions to the Company at any time.

Q1) by ‘arion’

In the past, you mentioned Hydrogen and fertiliser from brown coal. Does ECT with Energy Australia look forward to this breakthrough by CSIRO?

"AUSTRALIA’S CSIRO hydrogen transport breakthrough may have a larger impact on international markets than the local take-up of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), according to principal research scientist Michael Dolan.

Last week, the CSIRO, in conjunction with Hyundai and Toyota who provided test fuel-cell cars at a Brisbane event, announced the ground-breaking ability to contain hydrogen in ammonia, then release the gas at the point of delivery.

Ammonia – used for fertilisers, cleaning products and nitric acid production – is certified for transportation at shipping ports and road-transport docks around the world, whereas hydrogen needs to be packaged into high-pressure containers or through underground reticulation.

The CSIRO technology makes it viable to move hydrogen to overseas markets and throughout Australia. The key is how easy it is to extract the hydrogen from the ammonia which makes it convenient for refuelling cars.

It is the first time a method to easily transport hydrogen has been perfected and, the CSIRO said, immediately opens up world markets for Australian-produced hydrogen.

Link: https://premium.goauto.com.au/aussie-scientists-create-energy-bonanza/

Answer:

As the article you provided suggests, Hydrogen has huge potential as an alternative to petrol and diesel, and to battery electric vehicles.

In addition to CSIRO working on the ‘transport and storage’ challenge, the likes of KHI are working on the production and logistics as well.

We see two potential opportunities for ECT in this space:

We talk a bit about hydrogen here:

Q2) by ‘pies’

  1. Regarding the extension of the Project Agreement to allow time for NLC to complete their processes, is it looking very likely this will get done is it likely to be close to October 31st or can we expect it earlier, during September?
  2. If all goes well and the India R&D plant is built and functioning as expected will we have to go through all the channels delays again to get to commercial stage?
  3. If the Research Collaboration Agreement is not signed by end of October what then?
  4. Have the delays effected our bottom line greatly with the amount of work and effort required?
  5. On the home front there seems a lot happening; could we survive and thrive in Australia if need be?
  6. To generate cashflow from the repayment of ELF loans, would it be a good idea to let ELF holders pay down their loan in lots of say, 500,000 rather than the total amount of shares at one time?

Greatly appreciate your time.

Answer:

  1. Our stated target date is October 31st. This date was supported by NLC and as such we don’t expect that it will be much earlier, although it is possible.
  2. We’ve previously mentioned that the Project Agreement provides the framework for articulation from the R&D phase to the commercial phase. The commercial phase will still be subject to the prevailing processes at NLCIL, NMDC and the Indian Government as well as the typical requirements that any project would need to consider ahead of investing in a commercial plant.
  3. The Board will make an assessment based on the information at hand and make decisions based on the long-term interests of shareholders. Like we did last week, we will make this assessment well ahead of the deadline.
  4. The amount of work and effort required for the project has not changed. We’ve mentioned in our announcements that we do not expect the current extension to have a material impact on the India project and parallel activities continue in support of project commencement following financial close, including:
    1. Further refinement of Matmor retort engineering to support detailed design
    2. Continuation of the site & civil engineering preparations
    3. Commencement of value engineering program with Indian firm Geofiny
    4. Recruitment of project personnel
    5. Preparation and establishment of Project Control Committee
    6. Establishment of Project Steering Committee with weekly joint meetings
  5. The delays, however, have stretched our group budgets and resources and because of this, we take any delays in India very seriously.
  6. There are opportunities in the local market, initially via sales of test product from the Coldry pilot plant (link) and, subject to the finalisation and outcome of the feasibility study for the Latrobe Valley project, higher sale volumes into the industrial fuel market. Supply to power generators for electricity production remains uncertain due to ‘shifting’ energy policy, however, Coldry is suitable as fuel for a HELE power station and as a feedstock for higher-value coal conversion processes.

Q3) by ‘satin tape’

  1. What is the likelihood of a commercially binding contract related to actual project development being complete this year?
  2. If the Indian partners decide at the 11th hour that this project is not for them what are the repercussions for the company? For example, would some financial compensation be available or would the company have to start again with its current resources?
  3. Repetition of first-of-a-kind is not satisfactory for the lengthy delays. Paraphrasing for a moment, it was said that finalisation would be complete in October 2016. We are now approaching October 2018 and looking at a similar situation.
  4. If this is another year with a concrete deal not yet finalised what would you expect a reasonable shareholder to desire from current management? Options include (but are not limited to) resignations, reductions of operating expenses and the employment of new talent to the management team. Would any of these steps be considered?
  5. Taken from Simply Wall Street this graph (below) indicates the revenue and expenses for the company since 2012? Aside from the missing revenue prior to mid-way in 2013 is this representation accurate?image from simply wall street

Answer:

  1. The current target date which all three partners support is 31 October 2018. The Company will continue to provide guidance based on information at hand, with subsequent updates if there is a material change.
  2. Our partners reaffirmed their commitment in the 15 August 2018 announcement. Financial penalties are common for low-risk infrastructure projects. R&D requires a collaborative effort, reflective of the higher risk profile. Penalties, in this context, are not conducive to collaboration.
  3. We understand that some may not like certain facts. Perspective is important. The likes of the Australian High Commission, Austrade and the Australia India Business Council, who spend a lot of effort helping facilitate business engagement, support our view that we are progressing well despite the delays. We also understand that for a company like ours, the pace in delivering outcomes is an important factor in measuring our performance regardless of the complexities we face in achieving our goals. We are acutely aware of the need to get this balance right.
  4. We trust our shareholders understand the challenges of commercialisation, doing business in India and navigating cultural and political complexities and will understand that it is important that we continue to support our partners with the spirit of true partnership. We take a ‘frugal innovation’ approach. For context, the Hybrit pilot in Sweden aims to deliver a 1-2 tonne per hour plant at a cost of $210 million, then scale to commercial capacity by 2035. We’re aiming to achieve the same for $35 million and in shorter timeframes. The company continually reviews how we allocate human resources across the business and we have completed a number of role restructures and recruitment of new staff over the last 12 months to better support the Indian project. Additions of Martin Hill as CFO & Company Secretary and the resignation of Ashley Moore from the ECT Board to focus on India, are but two examples of this approach. As we have also advised the market previously, we are aiming to restructure the Board progressively towards that of a Board of governance, which aims to improve the independence and separation from the executive. We continue to work towards this outcome and changes are made as and when It makes sense to do so. 
  5. Please refer to our audited Annual reports.

Q4) by ‘Thunderbirdsarego’

On August 15, 2018, being the last answered Q&A you stated that you were managing uncertainties around changing timelines.

  1. What new uncertainties around timelines have surfaced since your last Q&A?
  2. Why is NLCIL unable to specify a timeline instead of using loose statements such as, " as soon as possible"?

Answer:

  1. Other than the request from NLCIL to extend the Project Agreement for the reasons stated in our ASX announcement on that matter, we are not aware of any new matters that may cause further delays to the current target date of 31 October 2018.
  2. The target date of 31 October is a specified timeframe. The statement ‘as soon as possible’ refers to the intent to deliver earlier if possible.

Q5) by ‘chrisatchch’

  1. Have you discussed with NLC about this situation and how frustrating it has been for shareholders? Does NLC know how painful it has been on our side with delays after delays?
  2. What confidence can you give us that October would be the grand final?
  3. Why Not ECT talk to one of NLC top board member with someone who has a good relationship with ECT Either Ashely or Glen?
  4. What was NLC explanation that they couldn’t review from May 31 till August 31?

Answer:

  1. We have shared this perspective with them.
  2. The Company has managed the uncertainties around changes in timeframes by providing ongoing guidance based on information at hand, with subsequent updates if there is a material change. To the extent that we can rely on the information we now have at hand, we are confident that all parties can deliver to the current target date of October 31.
  3. ECT is already dealing at Director level.
  4. Our announcement on 15 August 2018 stated: ‘The delay was due to longer than anticipated lead times caused by the transition of new personnel into the roles of Chairman-Managing Director, Director, Projects and Planning and Director of Mines’.

Q6) by ‘giddiyup’

  1. Seeing as NMDC was ready to grant approval at board level and have mentioned that they will convene a board meeting as soon as NLC have completed their internal review, has this put pressure (not direct obviously) on NLC to speed up their review process?
  2. The new date has hopefully been set as a worst-case scenario, is it possible to be finalised before October?
  3. Are you able to give a rough date as to when we will see concrete being poured, i.e. within three months or are we potentially looking at more than 6 months? At this stage, if no more hold ups, how immediate could that be?

Answer:

  1. NLCIL will take the requisite time to complete their requirements and understand our urgency to proceed. NMDC’s support for progress adds to our confidence that the partners will meet the October 31 target date.
  2. Yes, it is possible.
  3. We will release a project overview, including broad timelines, following financial close.

Q7) by ‘giddiyup’

Has there been much contact in Australia in regard to using Coldry in the energy mix (especially recently with all the energy talk on the political front) or is this not possible while waiting for construction to start and not knowing timeline or our technology not yet being commercialised?

Answer:

We are continuing to trial Coldry solid fuel in auxiliary boiler systems across Tasmania and Victoria which has led to establishing our recently announced steam package contract. We will continue to develop this market, using the High Volume Test Facility in Bacchus Marsh. In doing so, this supports the previously outlined feasibility study for the large-scale demonstration of Coldry in the Latrobe Valley. This project would focus on industrial energy applications rather than electricity generation, though could act as a basis for expansion to support a HELE power station if the opportunity arose.

Q8) by Plext

With all the Government talk and media highlighting the National Energy Market (NEM), will there be more funding to get new technology off the ground?

Answer:

Energy policy is highly uncertain at present. If calls from some MP’s for the government to back a new HELE power station to improve reliability and affordability are successful, we stand ready to support the case for a brown-coal based project.

Q9) by ‘satin tape’

  1. Is the recently mentioned revenue of $1.3 million the cumulative amount over five years?
  2. What amount of profit is on that number? if no finite amount can be given is there a rough percentage of profit that could be divulged?

Answer:

  1. $1.3 million is the value of the deal over 5 years.
  2. Disclosing profit margins on each contract in both $ and % terms is counterproductive to our own commercial interests, particularly as we build into a new market. These numbers will invariably be disclosed, where required, in the statutory financial reports of the company.

Q10) by ‘vacre’

  1. (INDIA PROJECT) How do you intend to create awareness of the India project once the deal has been signed (financial close) and construction about to commence? By “awareness” I am referring to increasing exposure to prospective investors and brokers, can you provide any insight into your strategies?
  2. (INDIA PROJECT) Are the current floods in India a cause for concern regarding financial close?
  3. (INDIA PROJECT) Last time I asked for a simple YES/NO which was dismissed. Are you able to please explain why you cannot provide a simple YES/NO to the fact that our India project may or may not be a project of national significance in India? Why the secrecy surrounding this considering NITI had caused us 12 months of delays? Not having an answer to this very simple question does feel strange, again - why the secrecy?
  4. (BACCHUS MARSH) What is the current rate of production (Coldry) per day in tonnage of the BM High Volume Test facility?
  5. (BACCHUS MARSH) What is the current state of affairs regarding the expansion of the BM High Volume test facility and are you able to provide a timeline on expansion works upcoming?

Answer:

  1. We will be stepping up communications around our activities following financial close. This will include media briefings, presentations at appropriate events, investor roadshows and initiatives such as case studies with Austrade.
  2. These floods are in a different location. NLCIL is subject to monsoon conditions and is set up to manage heavy rains.
  3. There is no secrecy, just no determination at this stage. We continue to proactively navigate India’s bureaucracy where possible.
  4. The rate of production is tied to experimental activity under our R&D program and can vary. The facility is capable of producing up to 15,000 tonnes per annum and the final stage upgrades would likely increase that to 35,000 tonnes per annum, however, the actual rate tolled through the system at any time is directly related to the R&D activities we are undertaking.
  5. Please refer to the most recent announcement on this topic – 29 June 2018.

Q11) by ‘thunderbirdsarego’

Would you please, in 25 words or less, construct a current "statement of belief" for shareholders?

Answer:

Any statements we make on behalf of the company always presume our belief in those statements.

Q12) by ‘roofer’

It’s obvious to me you guys have a bit going on at the moment, thanks for your hard work. My question to you, with information on hand, do you see the conversion price of the C options achievable within the time frame set?

Answer:

We are unable to provide a direct comment on the performance of share price. That being said, we are confident, that with the completion of the India project agreements and further steam package sales domestically, that this will be positive for the share price.

Q13) by ‘john b’

Are you still going to provide shareholders with this information prior to signing or has this been delayed along with the sunset date?

Answer:

We intend to release an update on the Revenue model prior to financial close.

Q14) by ‘SP3’

Will there be Board position movements at this year's AGM?

Answer:

Every year, including this year, 1/3 of the directors must resign and put themselves up for re-election.

Q15) by ‘marcmarcoz’

In your Corporate Presentation late 2016 you listed a number of future projects.

My question - Is ECT still in contact with these interested parties (we assume they are waiting for the Completion of the Indian Project) and which parties are still interested (A B or C)?

Future Company Projects
A. Australian Plant Opportunities
- Scoping study to start FY2017 for Australian based plants which may include:
- Vic and SA Integrated Demonstration Plant
- Vic Coldry plant integrated with pyrolysis or gasification
B. Indonesia Integrated Industrial Plant
- Large lignite reserves and demand for steel
- Economic plant construction and operations
- Completion of Techno-Economic Feasibility study FY2019
C. European Integrated Industrial Plant
- Large lignite reserves and demand for steel
- Economic plant construction and operations
- Completion of Techno-Economic Feasibility study FY2020

Answer:

Following the demonstration in India, Indonesia and Europe have been identified as highly prospective deployment opportunities. The India project, in addition to being an R&D facility, will provide an ideal marketing tool once commissioned and operating within desired parameters.

Q16) by ‘ruslah’

October 2016 - Mr Fozard stated “The Minister (Piyush Goyal) was again very supportive in his questions and comments, and expressed a desire for us to move more quickly. Indeed, he recommended we make direct contact with his office so that more support may be arranged to accelerate progress.”

Was direct contact ever made with the minister to speed up the process? If not, why not?

Answer:

Yes, Mr Fozard made direct contact with Minister Goyal’s office since October 2016. We believe regular contact is the best form of encouragement for a speedy outcome with official channels such as this.

Q17) via email from Don W

  1. Can we expect to see the Revenue model soon?
  2. Have the weekly updates with our partners, noted in the recent announcement, commenced yet?

Answer:

  1. We will release an update on the revenue model prior to financial close.
  2. This program has commenced.

 

Environmental Clean Technologies Limited (ASX:ECT) is pleased to announce its selection as a finalist in the Excellence in Innovation category for the Australia-India Business and Community Awards (AIBCA).

The annual India Australia Business & Community Awards have been a flagship event in the Australian-Indian business events calendar since 2013.

IABCA raises awareness of Indians in Australia and Australians in India, in a way that encourages further growth in relations between the two countries.

The IABCA initiative directly contributes to the Australia-India objectives of promoting a broader and deeper relationship between the two countries providing a platform for recognition of these success stories to Indian decision-makers.

The Awards feature high-profile patrons including Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull and India’s Consul General to Australia, Dr Gondane.

This Excellence in Innovation award recognises a start-up or business that has exercised innovation in contriving a new and unique business model. This category is also open to established businesses who have shown innovation by introducing a novel product or service, or by executing an innovative policy or strategy to generate a competitive advantage.

Finalists Showcase Friday 31 August 2018

The Finalists showcase event with fellow finalists, dignitaries, parliamentarians and the IABCA panel will be hosted on Friday 31 August at an intimate invite-only event at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

Winner to be announced on Friday 12 October 2018

IABCA winners will be revealed on Friday 12 October at the Gala event at Brisbane City Hall in the presence of His Excellency, Dr Gondane, High Commissioner of India to Australia.

ECT Chairman Glenn Fozard, who will be representing the Company at both events, commented “It’s an honour to be selected as a Finalist for this year’s award. We’ve worked hard to build relationships at the highest levels within two of India’s leading PSU’s and look forward to taking our innovative Coldry-Matmor project forward with them.

“Platforms such as the AIBCA help recognise that effort and promote it to a broader audience.”

Details on the awards are available at https://www.iabca.com.au/.

 

For further information, contact:

Glenn Fozard – Chairman          [email protected]