Powerhouse Energy chairman says Protos project top priority


Powerhouse Energy Group PLC (AIM:PHE, FRA:BT81)’s executive chairman has said the company’s construction of its first commercial-scale plant at Protos remains its “top priority”.

In an update delivered at its AGM on Thursday, Tim Yeo said the success of the project will “open a worldwide market for our clean technology”.

READ: Powerhouse Energy encouraged by partner’s hydrogen refuelling plans

“This project is being undertaken by Protos Plastics to Hydrogen N0. 1 Limited, the special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up for this purpose. Following discussions with Peel NRE about funding earlier this year Powerhouse agreed to provide the SPV with a short-term loan facility of GBP3.8mln which was announced on 12 May 2021. This facility ensures that long-lead items of equipment will be available timeously to progress the plant. We have already committed to securing orders for some specialist materials so meaning that we can secure a short overall project delivery period from commencement to completion. The loan facility is also enabling early preparatory work to proceed on site.

“Since announcing this facility we have continued to work very closely with Peel with the aim of reaching financial close on the SPV by 31 October 2021”, Yeo said.

The chairman also said the appointment of Ian Crockford to run the SPV has “greatly strengthened the management team working on the project” and that he is overseeing the procurement and risk management to ensure that there is a robust contracting position for this first of a kind (FOAK) project.

“FOAK projects, are by their nature, subject to technology risk which can make it hard to forecast a completion date until an experienced contractor is committed. We are nearing the appointment of a contractor and are therefore confident that the steps we have taken in the last few months are consistent with a completion date during 2023. We will update shareholders regularly on anticipated milestone dates”, Yeo said.

Meanwhile, the chairman said Peel NRE is progressing land use planning matters for the second DMG plant which will be built in Glasgow at the Rothesay Dock on the north bank of the River Clyde, a location he said: “is a reminder of the potential for DMG plants to play an important role in supplying clean transport fuels in the UK and abroad, thereby delivering environmental benefits in the form of lower CO2 emissions and improved air quality”.

Yeo also said the search for a new CEO at the company is continuing and that it is starting to interview candidates next month.

The chairman added that in September a new business development executive will join the firm to help deal with an “increasing number of inquiries” being received from different parts of the world, while the group is also continuing to support Hydrogen Utopia International in their deployment of DMG technology in Poland, Greece and Hungary.

“The board is confident about the outlook for Powerhouse and we look forward to updating shareholders later this year when we publish our half year results at the end of September”, Yeo concluded.

Shares in the company were 11.2% lower at 3.8p in lunchtime trading on Thursday.


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