EQTEC PLC (LON:EQT) Chief Executive Officer Ian Price caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss their latest operational & project update.
Q1: It seems international interest in your EQTEC Gasifier Technology is increasing significantly, what’s driving this?
A1: This is a combination of things really but primarily related to our growing network, for example, with news of the activities in the US market, more people are becoming aware of our capabilities and we’ve opened conversations with a number of potential strategic partners with visibility on future projects.
Where we have existing installations tailored to specific industries that we worked in in the past, we’re attracting attention from other companies in those sectors and they’re being referred to us. On top of that, we are attracting potential clients through some of the pilot and testing facilities that we’ve developed historically with some of the universities in Spain and France.
We’re also receiving enquiries because of the investors and the funders that we work with where they get to see new opportunities come across their desk and are able to point them in our direction.
So, we’re working very hard to take advantage of this sort of business ecosystem that we’ve developed and we’ve got a lot of relationships that we cultivated over a long period of time and we’re looking forward to making best use of that as we go forward.
Q2: I understand that you’re in advanced talks with a major business group in Spain and that’s to develop projects in the industrial and agricultural waste sectors. Can you say anything more about this?
A2: This client has a longstanding relationship with EQTEC and we’ve delivered services to them in the past, in fact we delivered a plant for them ion the past. They’re a large integrated business group in Spain which concentrates on the agri-food sector but has also diversified into promotion and construction of homes and commercial premises, production of thermal electrical energy and management and recovery of bioproducts from its operations.
It’s our plan to establish strategic relationships with industry leaders in sectors where our technology has an edge choosing difficult waste streams and where we can rapidly scale and replicate our modular technology. We are developing a collaboration agreement with the client to achieve this at the moment.
Q3: Now, you’re also looking to take greater control of the projects you are involved with, how’s this developing?
A3: Well, I said before, with being a technology subcontractor, particularly being in the large RDF type projects is not the best place to be as you’re often one step removed from the project decision making. Since I joined the company, we’ve been working on finding ways where we can be partners or co-developers in these types of projects.
We believe our IP goes beyond just the technical side with our technology capability and with the patents that we hold collectively, particularly at board level, we have extensive project development experience specific to this sector and the key relationships that are needed to de-risk projects of this type.
So, by being at the equity table, this creates a win-win for all the parties involved but also gives us the ability to help direct the project and manage the process of taking them to financial close and this is what we’re currently discussing with the owners of the projects we’re working on.
Q4: Could you explain a little further about the work EQTEC are undertaking with Phoenix Energy and their power plants?
A4: The US is a very interesting market for us with our biomass to electricity and heat solutions, over the past 5 years this industry in the States has grown to reach revenues of approaching $900 million in the last year. It’s predicted to grow further and we’re positioning ourselves to take advantage of this.
We’re interested in building relationships with successful developers and operators in this market and our experience with Phoenix Energy to date has been excellent. We’re working with them closely on the first two projects that we’ve talked about previously and we’re currently looking at other projects which we hope to bring forward with them.
The intention, again, is to develop a deeper collaboration as they become more and more knowledgeable of our capabilities and we deliver on the project opportunities.