Waste plant fails after $165m technology investment

28/10/2016 - 15:25

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An ambitious waste recycling project using technology developed by ASX-listed AnaeCo and jointly built by contactor Monadelphous Group has gone into administration.

Waste plant fails after $165m technology investment
The Brockwaste plant in Shenton Park.

An ambitious waste recycling project using technology developed by ASX-listed AnaeCo and jointly built by contactor Monadelphous Group has gone into administration.

The Brockwaste plant in Shenton Park was owned by funds managed by Sydney-based Palisade Investment Partners, which struck a deal with AnaeCo in 2010 to finance the stage 2 development of the plant.

Around the same time, AnaeCo and Monadelphous signed a design and construct contact for the plant, which has subsequently been hit by multiple timing and cost increases.

AnaeCo has spent a total of $165 million over 16 years developing the waste recycling technology used at the Shenton Park plant.

The amount invested by Palisade in the plant itself has not been disclosed but is believed to be about $60 million.

AnaeCo said today it was not directly affected by the appointment of administrators to three companies behind the project.

Simon Theobald and Marcus Ayres of PPB Advisory were appointed as voluntary administrators of Brockwaste WA Operations Pty Ltd and two related entities – Brockway DiCOM Facility and DiCOM AWT Operations.

The Brockwaste facility is currently in a care and maintenance program, having not received any waste since April 2016.

That was the same month that AnaeCo and Monadelphous handed over the site, after completing all work under their design and construct contact.

Mr Theobald said his immediate priority was to work with key stakeholders to assess the current position of the Brockwaste group and explore all options for restructuring of the Brockwaste facility.

“The plant will remain in care and maintenance while we undertake our review of the group,” he said.

“We are speaking with several interested parties and are hoping to achieve a sale of the plant in the near term.”

This development comes three months after AnaeCo announced a major balance sheet restructure and debt-for-equity swap.

Upon completion, that will result in Chinese company Xiaoqing Environmental Protection Technology (XEPT) taking a 55 per cent stake and Monadelphous clearing its debt but lifting its shareholding to 30 per cent.

The conversion price for the debt to equity swap was set at 0.14 cents per share, with AnaeCo to hold $3.7 million cash at completion.

AnaeCo’s shares closed at 0.4 cents today.

Its current focus is to commercialise its waste treatment technology and is pursuing opportunities in Australia, including with the East Metropolitan Regional Council in Perth and in Adelaide, and overseas.

The Shenton Park plant was designed to process 60,000 tonnes per annum, with the waste to be supplied by the Western Metropolitan Regional Council and the City of Stirling.

AnaeCo said lessons learned from the Shenton Park facility were being incorporated into a refreshed design platform.

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