Biomass innovators Active Energy restructure to help coal burners clean up act


A British firm aiming to ease international power giants’ journey from coal burning to patented biomass, posted encouraging financials for calendar 2020, overcoming big Covid-driven operating losses.

AIM-quoted Active Energy produces ‘second generation biomass’ feedstock for combustion. Its CoalSwitch is a mix of energy grasses, low value lumber and farm waste.

US patents have protected its recipe since December. Canadian authorities followed suit this month, Active CEO Michael Rowan told investors this morning. The firm is now contemplating patents across India and south-east Asia, he indicated.

Adding to its plant in Maine, Active intends a second US factory, due for completion by year end in North Carolina, to aid in delivering up to 35,000 tons a year of its product to PacifiCorp in  Utah.  In late 2019 America’s third-biggest utility, – in which Warren Buffer holds stock – signalled its intention to quit coal-burning.

Covid-related delays afflicting the commissioning of its second plant turned 2019’s $1.9 million operating profit into 2020’s $1.1 million loss, Active Energy reports today.

A £7 million restructuring in February 2021 of the firm’s balance sheet, including a successful bond float raising £800,000, and new equity grossing £1.5 million, have demonstrated investors’ confidence, Rowan believes.  The firm has shed logging & milling interests in Ukraine and Newfoundland, focusing instead on developing CoalSwitch.

Active Energy’s share price moved hardly at all. More on its results here.


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