The world is transitioning from a heavy industrialisation phase, where access to lower-cost inputs was the priority, toward a technology-driven paradigm that aims to reduce the impact of that industrialisation in the continued pursuit of economic growth.

Our Managing Director Glenn Fozard speaks with Ali Ukani from Peak Asset Management about our current projects and opportunities.

Environmental Clean Technologies Limited (ASX: ECT) (ECT or Company) presented its Matmor technology at the Global Steel Innovations Forum, held in Dubai last week.

Key takeaways:

Above: Ms Aditi Tarafdar (left), Technical Director and Head of Process Metallurgy at MN Dastur and, ECT India CMD Mr Ashley Moore (right).

Attracting over 500 steel industry delegates from around the world, the Global Steel Innovation Forum provided a platform to showcase disruptive and cutting-edge technological innovations in the steel and associated sectors, targeted at delivering improvements in operational efficiency, cost-effectiveness and emissions profiles to drive industry processes to the next level.

Last week (Wednesday 26 September 2018), ECT India Chairman-Managing Director, Mr Ashley Moore presented the Company’s Matmor technology to an audience comprised of steel industry delegates from around the world.

Co-presenting with Ashley was Ms Aditi Tarafdar, the highly regarded Technical Director and Head of Process Metallurgy at MN Dastur.

The presentation stood out at the event as the world’s first and only lignite-based primary iron making process, highlighting the features and benefits associated with decoupling the steelmaking process from expensive metallurgical coal and premium grade lump iron ore and other high-cost inputs such as premium grade non-coking coal and natural gas.

For the technically minded, the Matmor process relies on a unique chemical pathway involving the in-situ gasification and catalytic thermal decomposition of hydrocarbons to drive a hydrogen-based reduction reaction at low (<900°C) temperatures, with the hydrogen in the process recycled via beneficial co-reactions.

For the layman, this means iron ore is reduced to iron at a lower temperature, using cheaper, alternative raw materials. Lower temperatures mean the plant can be made of ‘lighter’ materials, reducing the capital intensity. The use of cheaper, alternative raw materials decouples the iron making process from expensive coking coal and premium grade lump iron ore.

Ms Tarafdar provided an overview of how MN Dastur and ECT have approached the development of the technologies, including the techno-economic feasibility study, the basic engineering and design process and the underlying process chemistry.

Of key interest to delegates was slide 27:

 

Ms Tarafdar highlighted the compelling business case for the Matmor technology, noting the table on the left shows the projected return on investment (ROI) based on 2015-16 prices for coal and iron ore, running at 160% of blast furnace returns, despite the historic low prices for coking coal at that time.

The table on the right is updated to reflect the current higher coal, iron ore and steel pricing. The result is an improved level of economic superiority for the Matmor process compared to the original economic analysis, driving the case for project acceleration.

Following the presentation Mr Moore was approached by a range of delegates interested in discussing the adoption of the Company’s technologies following successful completion of the research and development (R&D) phase, establishing qualified interest from substantial parties.

The ~AUD35 million R&D project in India seeks to establish an integrated Coldry and Matmor pilot plant capable of supporting the design scale-up to commercial size, de-risking investment for future production plants.

The presentation included a brief animated ‘flythrough’ of the project, which may be viewed on the Company’s website – www.ectltd.com.au.

For further information, contact:

Glenn Fozard – Chairman           [email protected]

Presentation

[pdf-embedder url="http://ectltd.com.au/wp-content/uploads/180926-SteelVia-ECT-Dastur-joint-pres-final-sml.pdf" title="180926-SteelVia-ECT Dastur joint pres-final (sml)"]

Video

Sydney Clean Energy Roundtable

ECT’s Executive Chairman Mr Glenn Fozard yesterday presented to India’s Federal Minister for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines the Hon. Shri Piyush Goyal.

Minister Goyal was in Australia to lead the ‘Clean Energy Roundtable’, a private business meeting with Australian Government and Industry leaders to discuss Australian clean energy solutions, and their opportunities in India.

Mr Fozard presented ECT’s Coldry and Matmor project, being pursued in partnership with NLC India and NMDC, along with our highly skilled engineering partners Thermax and M.N. Dastur.

The Coldry process, a low temperature, a low-pressure, cost-effective method for drying high moisture brown coal, can reduce its CO2 intensity in electricity in production and other higher value applications such as coal-to-gas and high-value chemicals.

The Matmor process, a unique iron-making method that replaces higher cost coking coal with lower cost lignite, utilises alternative, lower cost iron ore fines instead of premium lump ore via a lower cost plant capable of integrating with existing downstream secondary steel making processes. It features an alternative chemical pathway to achieve the reduction of metal oxides at lower temperatures and faster process times than traditional methods.

Combined, Coldry acts as a front-end material preparation stage for Matmor.

The presentation highlighted the economic and environmental benefits of the technologies. Mr. Fozard emphasised the superiority of the financial results generated by a commercial scale Coldry-Matmor-Electric Arc Furnace (C/M-EAF) integrated plant compared to a traditional Blast Furnace-Basic Oxygen Furnace (BF-BOF) technology combination, as detailed in the Techno-Economic Feasibility (TEF) Study, completed earlier this year.

A headline key performance indicator for any industrial project is its Internal Rate of Return (IRR). At more than 17% IRR, ECT’s solution can deliver a distinct advantage over the traditional Blast Furnace route.

ECT’s technology solution also helps achieve economic and environmental objectives, including increased raw material security through utilisation of domestic resources and improved environmental outcomes through lower CO2 emissions, among others.

Importantly, the presentation also spotlights the benefit of decoupling the project’s financial performance from the volatility associated with traditional iron making raw materials; coking coal and premium lump ore.

Following the presentation, the Minister provided some very direct and encouraging feedback, noting that the company’s technologies could help India reduce her reliance on imports by enabling the utilisation of domestic resources for steel market inputs.

The TEF study, released mid-year, used average pricing applicable through the period July 2015 to June 2016 which, being based on recent historic lows, was conservative. This conservatism, though prudent at this stage of development, downplayed the core competitive advantages of Matmor in its ability to utilise alternative raw materials.

With recent structural changes to the supply of coking coal, dramatic escalations in price have impacted the steel market significantly, with the most recent commodity reporting information showing a further escalation of coking coal prices to US$245 per tonne on the spot market, and 2017 futures holding between $US 170-210. Importantly, using the cost modelling developed as part of the TEF study, the BF/BOF technology has a zero IRR at coking coal prices above $US155 per tonne. Matmor, on the other hand, is insulated from such impacts.

Those impacts are outlined within the slide deck available for download below.

Mr Fozard stated “The Minister 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.”

Other presenters included:

Last week, ECT Managing Director Ashley Moore presented at the 'CEO Sessions' at the ASX Auditorium in Sydney.

The presentation, available by clicking here (opens a new window to the FNN website), focused on the Company’s recent technology development agreement in India, highlighting the significant growth opportunities in that market in the context of Coldry and Matmor’s positioning across the energy and resource sector.

In addition to the presentation was a brief interview (and associated transcript), available below:

Transcript

Environmental Clean Technologies Limited (ASX:ESI) or as we call it ECT, is a commercialisation and development company. We take new technologies along a disciplined pathway and bring them to market, for licensing, or capital contribution, or operations and maintenance revenues in the end. We focus in the energy and resource sectors, specifically with two technologies. One, which is called Coldry, a low rank coal upgrading technology and Matmor, which is an alternative to blast furnace crude steel production.

Essentially, we take low grade or low value resource and bring them up the value curve. For the Coldry technology, we take very high moisture, low rank coals. We remove the water from it, creating a much more energy intense fuel that can be used in the lowest value instance power generation, but much more efficient power generation. Or right up through further coal conversion technologies into fuels, or very important chemicals like urea and synthetic natural gases, and so on.

In the instance of Matmor, again it’s taking low value resources and bringing them up the value curve. But there’s an additional layer in Matmor, in that it’s a conversion technology in itself. So you take low value lignites in this case, or high moisture coals. You take low-grade iron ores and you convert them into highly valuable crude steel, as an alternative to blast furnace. You do so at much lower cost. You do so at much more beneficial impact on the environment. So that CO2 generated per tonne of steel, is significantly reduced and very importantly, less capital in the build process.

Firstly to introduce those two companies, NLC Limited (BOM:513683) basically owns or controls almost the entirety of the lignite resources in India. And NMDC Limited (BOM:526371) is the largest iron ore miner in the country. They’re both federal government owned companies. They have a slice of them listed on the Indian stock markets as well. The agreement we have in place with those two companies is a tri-party collaboration agreement.

So we are going to work together to take the two technologies ETC has, take them through a disciplined process of pilot and demonstration, for the two technologies respectively. And then on through commercialisation and deployment in India. We’re at the beginning of that pathway and we’re in the process now of doing the, it’s called the techno economic feasibility. But basically, painting a picture of when deployed at commercial scale, these technologies will create this much value, ticking the boxes in terms of the diligence required to invest in the R&D upfront.

In essence, because we’re a pre-revenue company, we focus very very carefully on getting the most efficiency out of the dollars we spend. We have to raise those from shareholders, so we’re very very careful with how we spend them. The key highlight is that we achieved all of our commercialisation objectives, and did so at a reduced cost. Something like a 20 per cent reduction in our cash cost spend. So that was a pretty significant highlight.

Obviously we’ve got our cash resources that we have available at the moment. We have a debt line available to us for $1 million that we can draw on, as and when we choose. We also have a series of listed options in the market. Those are in the money, or close to in the money; depending on what series you look at. And in total, there’s about $23 million worth of conversion funds that we could draw in, through the exercise of those options. So there’s a range of tools that we can draw on for our capital requirements. Plus there’s also, being a listed company, we can have placements as and when required, with the right kind of parties.

In 12 month’s time, I’d like to see most of our activities being focused on the construction activities in India. As I mentioned, the tri-party collaboration agreement we’ve got with NLC and NMDC, we expect to move into those final stages pre-construction, in the second half of this year. So in 12 month’s time, I’d like to see us knee-deep in concrete and steel, setting up the plant in India.

Last Friday (27 November 2015) we held our Annual General Meeting.

We trialled a webcast for the informal part of the meeting, streaming the audio of both the Chairman's Address and Managing Director's Presentation. The Managing Director's presentation also featured a synchronised slide deck.

If you were unable to attend the meeting or join the live stream, please click here to view the address and presentation now: ECT AGM 2015 (opens a new window/tab)

The formal part of the meeting, which entailed voting on the Resolutions as detailed in the Notice of Meeting, proceeded off-line. The results of the meeting were subsequently lodged with the ASX (link), with all Resolutions passed unanimously on a show of hands.

 

The Company held its Annual General Meeting today (Friday 29 November 2013).

The following were released via the ASX.

Chairmans Address

The year behind us represents a watershed achievement for the company with the completion of the detailed designs for Coldry. This vital step in the commercialisation process delivers ECT’s largest investment in an asset since the purchase of the Coldry IP in 2009.

The Coldry demonstration plant in Victoria is now construction-ready.

We also experienced a number of frustrations over 2013, which sadly took the shine off management’s delivery of the designs. These included delays to the expected decision on the ALDP grant, unresolved conclusion to the Monash funding and difficult capital market conditions making financing a challenge and further adding downward pressure to the share price. Both ALDP and Monash were necessary pursuits, and one’s, I might add, that may still provide ECT with very significant benefits, but they have also highlighted the risks of initiatives that are largely out of the control of the company. Given the investment of time and money made into these pursuits and the continued prospects for their potential to be of great benefit to the company, ECT will continue to work towards both opportunities until a certainty of outcome is determined. The difference now is that they will be a part of portfolio of opportunities that intends to tip the balance of control in favour of ECT. Parallel contingency planning is now front of mind for the company and management has shown great flexibility and execution in their pursuit of those opportunities which ensure that ECT do not have “all their eggs in one basket”.

Over the last four months, I am pleased to say that the board has been actively listening to feedback from shareholders and the market. This has led to a number of significant policy changes in the company underpinned by a growing culture of “passionate commitment via frugal means” or what we like to call, the “frugal innovation” approach.

The board is committed to driving improved productivity without increasing costs. We are also striving to improve diversity and expand skill sets on the board with the aim of ensuring that the innovative and dynamic culture required of a successful technology company is represented at all levels of the business.

Our capital management planning now extends past 12 months; we have greater transparency on NED remuneration, more effective rewards, performance and incentive structures, and our operational expenditure is now budgeted to be the lowest it’s been in over 4 years.

This is but the start of an ongoing process of continual review and improvement.

Over the last 12 months, we have also noticed an emerging misnomer in the market about Coldry. The idea that Coldry is simply a thermal coal equivalent processing plant is but one option for commercial deployment but by no means is the sole option or even the best option. ECT has spent many years, through the process of design and engineering improvements, becoming an expert at dewatering high moisture content lignites. As a result, we are acutely aware of the project opportunities which reinforce that Coldry is a “gateway solution” to other beneficiation solutions like pyrolysis, gasification and CTL, to name a few. This belief has been reinforced in practice by ongoing collaboration with other technology providers for Coldry to act as the front-end drying process for their downstream beneficiation. This, in our view, allows Coldry to act as an important de-risking solution for the large Government and private investment needed to support this emerging industry in the Latrobe Valley.

We also can’t forget that Coldry is the gateway to Matmor, our own downstream beneficiation technology for producing iron and ferro-alloys.

Our company’s strategy for the next 12 months is based on three platforms of focus:

1.  To continue to pursue demonstration opportunities in Victoria

2.  To execute on the Indian strategy including:

3.  To initiate the next development phase of Matmor toward pilot scale.

I have confidence that with this management focus, we will do these few things well, and when done well, will set the company up for attaining future cashflows. It must be noted, however, that many great challenges still exist along this intended pathway, however, I am also confident that the board and management is in good shape to meet and overcome these challenges.

Managed well, the future of this company is bright. And with that, I intend to hand you over to our Managing Director, Ashley Moore.

Managing Directors Presentation

Managing Director Ashley Moore delivered the following presentation.

DownloadManaging Directors Presentation (PDF)

Results of Meeting

Manner in which the security holder directed the proxy vote (as at proxy close):

Resolution

For

Against

Discretionary

Abstain

1 Remuneration Report

284,636,961

80,873,905

1,430,332

208,597,706

2 Re-election of Mr Iain McEwin

450,758,171

70,935,586

7,308,253

56,937,815

3 Re-election of Mr Stephen Carter

310,386,992

264,415,346

7,308,253

3,829,234

4 Re-election of Mr Lloyd Thomson

390,891,341

66,610,997

7,308,253

121,129,234

5 Approve Add Placement Capacity

532,725,708

43,010,683

7,624,921

2,578,513

6 ECT Exec & Dir Incentive Plan

300,940,888

92,854,434

0

184,719,582

7 Approval to Issue New Options

498,710,680

77,483,632

7,424,921

2,320,592

8 Approval of Spill Meeting

133,960,716

238,446,404

6,216,667

206,107,784

 

Manner in which votes were cast in person or by proxy on a poll:

Resolution Result

1 Remuneration Report

Passed on a show of hands with greater than 75% approval

2 Re-Election of Mr Ian McEwin

Passed on a show of hands

3 Re-Election of Mr Stephen Carter

Passed on a show of hands

4 Re-Election of Mr Lloyd Thomson

Passed on a show of hands

5 Approve Additional Placement Capacity

Passed on a show of hands with greater than 75% approval

6 Approval of Exec & Director Incentive Plan

Passed on a show of hands

7 Approval to Issue New Options

Passed on a show of hands

8 Approval of Spill Meeting

Withdrawn due to passing of Resolution 1

Dear Shareholders,

The Company held a General Meeting today per the Notice of Meeting sent out on 23 July 2013.

The meeting dealt with capital management and corporate governance matters and the election of Mr. Glenn Fozard as a non-executive Director. All resolutions were passed and the results of the meeting were released via the ASX earlier today and summarised as follows:

Resolution

For

Against

Discretionary

Abstain

1. Ratification of prior issue of securities

221,560,801

1,982,825

2,935,471

9,000

2. Approval of new issue of shares

218,557,826

4,985,801

2,935,471

9,000

3. Approval of Non-Executive Director Remuneration Policy

216,598,577

6,232,050

2,935,471

722,000

4. Election of Mr Glenn Fozard

221,146,269

853,918

2,935,471

1,552,440

Background

The successful demonstration of ECT’s Coldry technology is currently the key objective of the Company and is the gateway to commercial deployment and revenue generation. Revenue is the key to delivering fundamental shareholder value.

Engineering development for the Coldry demonstration plant has followed a methodical, iterative process to deliver the increasing levels of accuracy and certainty around cost estimates necessary to attract the capital required to execute the demonstration project.

Working with Arup, we have delivered ‘construction ready’ design and engineering outputs announced recently, positioning the Company to advance the Coldry demonstration plant subject to external funding drivers.

Resolutions

In support of the above, shareholders approved the prior issues of Shares to enable the Company to refresh its capacity under Listing Rules 7.1 and 7.1A for new issues of securities without Shareholder approval. This is a key capital management tool and essential to providing your Board with the flexibility necessary to deliver outcomes in line with the above objective.

In addition, Shareholders approved the issue of Shares upon the progressive conversion of the Arup Bond. The face value of the Bond, including its extension announced on 5 July 2013 is $3,900,000. A total face value of $2,500,000 has to date been issued and the Company has received conversion notices for part of the Bond, totaling $1,500,000 at the issue of the Notice of Meeting and $2,450,00 as at close of business yesterday. This conversion is on the terms outlined in the ASX announcements dated 21 November 2012 and 5 July 2013.

The Bond has been issued in consideration for the work undertaken by Arup to deliver the design and engineering program and the ‘construction ready’ engineering works associated with the development and delivery of the Coldry demonstration plant.

Finally, Shareholders elected Mr. Glenn Fozard as a Director following his appointment to the Board on 17 July, 2013 and formally approve the Board’s policy pertaining to the engagement and remuneration of non-executive Directors in the provision of additional services or special exertions by them beyond their normal services as non-executive Directors.

Following the formal business of the meeting I presented a general update covering:

The presentation was released via the ASX at the beginning of the meeting and is available for download here: General Update (PDF)

We thank the shareholders who found the time in their busy schedules to attend todays meeting and for the many more who voted in support of todays resolutions.

Regards,

Ashley Moore
Managing Director

Dear fellow shareholders,

Ashley Moore, Managing Director

It is now more than a month since I was appointed Managing Director of your company. During this period, we’ve continued on the strategic path toward Coldry demonstration that commenced with the Design for Tender (DFT) in November 2011.

As you are aware, we’ve also been subject to stringent confidentiality provisions stemming from our application to the Advanced Lignite Demonstration Program (ALDP). This has resulted in significantly less communications, and we’ve been deliberately measured in this update to ensure we comply with the probity requirements and government guidance.

This newsletter and the video update below do not have anything market sensitive to disclose. Hence it has not been released via the ASX. Rather it is an update to reinforce or clarify where we stand in relation to matters already in the public domain.

With this in mind, and before I cover off our major activities, I'd like to take a moment to re-introduce myself to you.

I am a Chartered Chemical Engineer, graduating from the University of Melbourne. Following University, I moved into the Process and Chemical industry with Cabot Corporation via their Australian subsidiary at Altona here in Melbourne. I spent 20 years with Cabot, holding a diversity of roles across plant operations and management; engineering, design, construction and commissioning, as well as positions in quality and systems management and marketing.

During this time, I was part of various teams that designed, built and brought to successful commercial operating status ten production units in Asia, with a combined budget of several hundred million dollars.

I was engineering lead or commissioning lead on five of these projects. In my last few years at Cabot, I held roles responsible for technical application support and marketing for the major business segment supplying the tyre manufacturing industry in the Asia Pacific. During my time at Cabot, I spent many years overseas in the USA, UK, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Following Cabot, I moved to Delta EMD, a South African specialty chemical business supplying electrolytic manganese dioxide, where I was responsible for all commercial aspects of the company's global sales and supply chain. In my time in that business, I was part of an Executive Management Team that drove and delivered a business turnaround, returning it to profit by overcoming major structural changes to the global industry that had led to widespread loss-making operations over preceding years.

This diverse set of experiences gained in my years prior to joining ECT provides the skill set required to drive and deliver the various project components needed to commercialise Coldry, including:

  • Process engineering strength, especially process design and optimisation
  • Planning for new organisations; recruitment, training, commissioning and startup operations
  • Competitive analysis and technology assessments
  • Commodity market supply and demand analysis and planning

However, this is not a one-man show. Commercialising a new process is a team effort. It takes the support of our investors, the expertise of our strategic partners and considerable dedication and effort by ECT staff.

As such, I look forward to profiling the full ECT team and our strategic partners in future newsletters.

I trust you find the following updates informative and welcome any feedback via email – [email protected].

Sincerely,

Ashley Moore
Managing Director

Key Objective – Coldry Demonstration

Our key objective is to demonstrate Coldry at a commercial scale to enable the broader global commercial uptake and roll-out of the technology, and the Coldry Demonstration Plant (CDP) project is how we intend to do this.

With this key objective in mind, we’re on track to begin the final stages of preparation ahead of construction commencement targeted for H1 2014.

Included in these activities are:

  • Final site confirmation within the Loy Yang precinct
  • Transition from MoU to formal detailed agreements with AGL Loy Yang for the site, coal supply, electrical supply and waste energy interconnections
  • Construction package tender issue and final selection of vendors
  • Project approvals, including planning permits and required EPA approvals

The commercialisation process is extremely detailed, always challenging and requires a staged increase in capital on the way through. Our efforts over the last 18 months have been significantly focused on de-risking all aspects of this program:

  • Our work with Arup has delivered a great design, which we're now finalising along with targeted "value-engineering" driven cost-reduction efforts.
  • Our efforts through the Government’s ALDP process have also been significant. If successful, this grant funding will significantly benefit our speed to market, given the substantial capital requirements to demonstrate Coldry at commercial scale.
  • The progress made by Monash to deliver funding into the CDP has been substantial and the Board continues to work closely with them.

We are focused on delivering shareholder value through the achievement of this key objective; Coldry demonstration. This is not without risk and as such the Board continually reviews the strategic and operational aspects of the business in line with its obligations.

CDP Engineering Update

Since February 2013, when the Company advised the market that Arup had largely completed the earlier scoped Design for Tender (DFT) process, engineering work has continued with an emphasis on preparation to deliver the demonstration project. Specifically, that means:

Estimation: In collaboration with McConnell Dowell (MacDow), Arup have prepared initial project cost estimations for the Coldry Demonstration Plant (CDP) based on a ‘generic site’ within the Loy Yang precinct.

Value engineering: With the detail available from the estimate, a prioritised list of opportunities to reduce capital cost has been developed. Progress continues in this area, with a few examples resulting in reduced capital estimates being;

  • Reduced structural requirements through enhanced equipment layout
  • A modified conditioning belt conveyor structure, reducing the need for complicated pipe and duct systems for air distribution, and; Simplification of pipe and duct systems stemming from design improvements to the conditioning belt conveyor structure
  • A creative solution for distribution conveyors on top of the Packed Bed Dryer structure, eliminating an entire "tripper" conveyor

Project Planning: Detailed planning is well advanced for the balance of the pre-construction engineering works, as well as initial construction programs.

Project Approvals: Permit and Approval requirements have been identified, and preparatory works have begun, including initial site-specific inspections and reports.

Product transportability: Further detailed studies have been completed, confirming the low tendency for spontaneous combustion of Coldry vs. other regularly transported coals providing confirmation of suitability for bulk handling.

Arup has commenced the second round of project estimation works, which will include significantly more detail related to site works and incorporate the outcomes of the value engineering activities performed to date.

ALDP Update

The Advanced Lignite Demonstration Program (ALDP) is a joint state and federal government funding initiative designed to support the pre-commercial demonstration of coal upgrading processes for raw lignite.

Your company was shortlisted in December 2012 and subsequently submitted a detailed proposal in March 2013.

The ALDP includes probity and confidentiality requirements that limit disclosure unless approved by the government. To comply with these provisions, your company has had to restrict the usual level of communication, providing only material updates per ASX listing rules. We understand that while most shareholders would prefer more regular updates, you also recognise the need to comply with the program to ensure continued eligibility.

As outlined on the ALDP website, the next step in the program involves confidential funding offers to preferred applicants. Following the issue of offers, the government has indicated a funding negotiation window of up to 3 months, after which the Ministers will announce successful applicants.

Shareholders should be aware that this timeframe is indicative and could change without notice at the government’s discretion.

If ECT receives an offer to enter funding negotiations, it cannot announce this without breaching the confidentiality requirements of the program, and it is non-binding at that stage.

Should ECT be successful in receiving funding, an announcement will be made immediately following the Ministers announcement, which is standard protocol and consistent with ASX's continuous disclosure requirements.

If ECT does not attract an offer, an announcement will be made immediately, and an alternate pathway outlined.

Capital Management

Monash Capital Group equity placement status

Monash continues to advance, and ECT continues to support its capital raising program with the intent of delivering the $6 million equity investment in addition to significant funding into the Coldry Demonstration Plant.

It is important for shareholders to recognise that the $6m equity placement, while important in establishing Monash as a cornerstone investor, is not the end game. The driver behind our work with Monash is to attract significant risk capital to the demonstration project.

Based on the information at hand, we believe that:

  1. Monash’s capital raising program can deliver the equity funding commitments to the Company
  2. The required capital can be delivered to the Coldry Demonstration Plant (CDP) project in line with projected timeframes
  3. The funding offered by Monash represents the best available value to shareholders

The Board is sensitive to the short-term impact the delays have on investor sentiment and the desire for information as to the nature and cause of the delays.

To this end, Monash advises the delays are systemic due to the size and complexity of the funding programs. However, they have highlighted the upside to this type of program: flexibility. This flexibility provides Monash with the capability to deliver significant capital to a broad range of projects, including our key objective - the Coldry Demonstration Project.

Monash Director Neil Youren explains further:

“ECT is not the only project targeted to receive investment from Monash.

The fundraising programs we are using are non-traditional in Australia, though are more common in Europe and North America.

We source our funding through programs that we have access to in the offshore capital markets. These are customised, structured programs that utilise funds sourced specifically for projects that meet specific criteria.

Monash’s business model in this space can be summed up as a strategic investor in large-scale infrastructure and energy projects, via the provision of both debt and equity. We also seek to gain upside from careful selection of, and investment in, companies along the supply chain.”

While we appreciate the work undertaken by Monash is subject to the processes and timing of the markets in which they operate, shareholders have made their preference clear and are keen to hear one message; the funds have been delivered. In line with this, ECT will focus future Monash-related updates on such material events.

CDP capital raising participation for existing shareholders

Many shareholders have flagged their interest in participating in any capital raising opportunities aimed at funding the demonstration plant.

As such, the Board is reviewing various options for participation and will advise shareholders of these opportunities in due course.

ECT Managing Director Ashley Moore presented at the Brown Coal Drying and Handling seminar in Melbourne recently (17 June 2013).

The event, staged by Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA), covered the latest coal drying and handling technologies and touched on the many forces impacting development and commercialisation in this emerging market.

A wide range of speakers presented to a broad audience of engineers, coal development companies, technologists, financiers, government representatives, researchers and private investors.

It was widely accepted that brown coal drying technologies are necessary for longer-term energy security and value-added resource utilisation.

ECT’s equipment development partner JC Steele also attended, presenting their materials handling and processing capabilities and highlighting their broad range of equipment available to the coal sector.

Their presentation titled “The Merits of Brown Coal Extrusion” used Coldry as a case study to showcase their lab experience and testing facilities and provided insight into the extensive development activity that’s underpinned the work at our Coldry pilot plant and informed the scale up to our Coldry demonstration plant.

ECT and JC Steele are planning a series of Open Day’s at the Coldry pilot plant later this year to showcase the current state of development, including a mobile version of the full-scale '90 Model' mill and extruder destined for our demonstration and commercial scale plants. More information on the Open Day’s will be announced soon.

Mr. Moore commented "The event was very well organised by BCIA and highly relevant to ECT. BCIA have made great inroads in supporting and bringing together the various stakeholders and we’re proud to be member."

The presentation by ECT Managing Director Ashley Moore, which can be viewed below, covered the Coldry process, how it integrates to a host power station, and its current status of development and an outline of the next steps.

In addition to the presentation, an exhibition area provided ECT with the opportunity to network with delegates between sessions.

This type of event provides a valuable, targeted forum to educate the market on Coldry in the context of broader lignite market development.