Active Energy Group PLC bullish on its forestry and biomass future but losses widen

(), now focused on forestry management and biomass fuel products, is confident on its growth opportunities, it said posting latest half year results.

Political events in Turkey disrupted sales in the six months to end June and only two partial loads of woodchip were shipped, compounded by the fact the firm is scaling down all its woodchip activity in Ukraine.

The loss before tax  for the six months was US$1.9mln compared to a loss of US$339,000 in the same period last year, on revenues, which fell to US$1.3mln from US$13.4mln a year earlier.

The period also saw the group raise US$14.15mln to fund its plans and form two affiliate companies to hold AEG’s current and future CoalSwitch and Timberlands assets.

A milestone moment was reached last month when a deal  was struck with California-based renewable energy group Lumino Capital to build eight plants across Asia, targeted to start in the first half next year.

AEG’s biomass affiliate will build and run the plants, which will produce 1.5mln tonnes of product a year,  while Lumino will source the biomass feedstock as well as providing finance.

At the Timberlands business, focused on Newfoundland and Labrador, it is in advanced negotiations to gain what’s called a Crown Timber Licence (CTL) and rolling 20-year Forestry Management Agreements for two districts initially.

These grants will allow Timberlands to begin harvesting and using up to 140,000 solid cubic metres of wood a year.

On the possible sale of the Ukraine assets, the group said negotiations with former chief operating officer Matteo Girlanda had now ceased and the board is “evaluating” the optimal path forward.

“We are entering a highly active period that we hope will witness significant value triggers that will assist investors and commercial partners to appreciate the true value of both components of our business,” the group said in today’s statement.

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