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Long-term investment in energy

HITEC Energy Limited has brought Elissa Samuel back to Perth to encourage investment in its planned Port Hedland Electrofuel Project.

The plant is estimated to cost $209 million and will produce 40,000 tonnes of electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD) per year, the ingredient essential for alkaline cells such as the AA batteries that run your CD Walkman.

The Port Headland plant is the first built in Australia since UK company Delta began produc-tion in Newcastle, NSW, in 1991.

Ms Samuel moves from Sydney-based Orient Capital, an investor relations consultancy, and takes her position as investor relations manager at HiTec as part of its restructuring process aimed at maximising the commercial value of the company.

“We want to create a bigger market knowledge of the company which will increase the company’s long-term value,” Ms Samuel said.

She said companies which failed to have investment management or had poor inves-tor management strategies might be losing stock value.

“Companies may have a very good corporate strategy and great performance but be inefficient in their communi-cation to investor audiences,” Ms Samuel said.

She said a failure to communicate effectively with investors meant the overall worth of a company’s stock would not be meeting its potential and the company would be failing to encourage investor loyalty.

Ms Samuel will be responsible for gaining and maintaining investor support for the Port Hedland plant, which is scheduled for construction at the end of the year and will be operational in late 2002.

Ms Samuel said what differentiated this plant from other EMD producers was a difference in the extraction process, which would allow HiTec to produce EMD at a lower cost and in a more eco-friendly manner.

HiTec uses a process of extracting manganese which allows it to use lower grade material to get the same manganese component as other EMD producers.

Tests undertaken by HiTec in South Africa have proven this process can work, and the new demonstration plant opening at Murdoch University in late July will produce enough EMD for battery manufactures to test HiTec’s EMD.

Once fully operational, the Port Hedland plant will be able to produce about 40,000 tonnes of EMD per year.

Ms Samuel said demand of EMD was 270,000 tonnes per year globally, with a 10 per cent increase on that figure annually.

She said that, without HiTec’s plant, there would be a shortfall in EMD by 2003.

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