Italia MDC: Project update and new investment

Source: RNS
RNS Number : 1259H
22 November 2022


22 November 2022



("EQTEC", the "Company" or the "Group")


Italia MDC: Project update, new investment and shareholding


EQTEC plc (AIM: EQT), a global technology innovator powering distributed, decarbonised, new energy infrastructure through its waste-to-value solutions for hydrogen, biofuels, and energy generation is pleased to provide an update on the EQTEC Italia Market Development Centre in Gallina, near Castiglione d'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy ("Italia MDC") and in particular, on improvements to the plant (the "Plant") in support of a sustainable business model, funded by its existing investors (the "Investors"), as set out in the Company's announcement on 21 June 2021.


Project status


The project to recommission the Plant (the "Project") remains on track, with the commercial operations date ("COD") scheduled for December 2022, subject to the availability of service providers to complete work on ancillary equipment. Earlier this year, the Company employed an operations manager and operations specialists to run the Plant and has had EQTEC operations & maintenance ("O&M") specialists on site since October, to train and support the ramp up of the local team. The Company expects to take delivery of the last, critical, ancillary equipment this week, with mechanical and electrical completion of the Plant anticipated by the end of November 2022.


The Project has overcome a number of unexpected delays with on-time delivery of key components and availability of service providers to support commissioning of specific pieces of ancillary equipment.


The Company intends to continue communicating its progress with Italia MDC in coming weeks, in the run-up to full operation of its first Market Development Centre ("MDC"). The Company is also currently pursuing construction and commissioning of additional MDCs in Croatia, France and the UK.


Business model resilience


In addition to being a showcase for EQTEC technology in a live, commercial environment, the Italia MDC will be a clean solution for conversion of locally sourced agricultural waste into energy, in the Val d'Orcia of Tuscany. It is expected to be a successful investment with a healthy and sustainable profitability and rate of return. Throughout the recommissioning of the Plant, the Company has worked with the Investors to identify ways of making the business model of the Plant more resilient to changing economic conditions, flexible in pursuing future opportunities and sustainable as a business interest.


The Investors have agreed to invest in specific enhancements to the Plant that will allow it to produce biochar, for which there is a growing market in Italy and Europe more generally. Additionally, the Investors agreed to installation of an additional feeding-in system so that the Plant can accommodate both low-density and high-density feedstocks. These augmentations will allow the Plant to vary its feedstocks as market conditions change and to add biochar as a revenue stream. Other augmentations, such as addition of a dryer and a thermal oxidizer will make the Plant more self-sufficient and give the operation greater control over the end-to-end conversion process.


The new financial model approved by the Board of Directors and shareholders of Italia MDC currently forecasts revenues of c. €2.6 million and EBITDA of c. €1.0 million per year from COD through end of 2027.


New investment and resulting shareholding


To fund these additional investments, EQTEC Italia MDC Srl (the "SPV") has raised c. € 1.45 million through a combination of shareholder loans and equity from Quainstone Limited and the Company, each subscribing approximately for half of the amount, resulting in a change to relative ownership of the SPV. The Company's share remains largely unchanged as the majority of its participation was through a shareholder loan, intended to be repaid with a bank refinance after COD. The updated capital ownership of the Plant is as follows:



Ownership share

Quainstone Limited


EQTEC Holdings Limited


MetalNRG Eco Limited


Pitcole Limited





David Palumbo, CEO of EQTEC, commented:


"We are eager to get the Italia MDC up and running as another demonstration of EQTEC's technology in a live, commercial environment. We expect to see operational availability of 90% or more, as we have seen at the plant we commissioned in Spain over a decade ago. I am especially pleased that our fellow SPV Investors have supported additional investment to improve the Italia MDC's business proposition and are already looking at other opportunities to invest and deploy EQTEC's technology in other areas. I look forward to sharing the news of mechanical and electrical completion, COD and operational performance of the Plant.  We expect a busy programme showcasing the plant early in 2023, with a number of strategic and project investors interested to see the live operations."


This announcement contains inside information as defined in Article 7 of the EU Market Abuse Regulation No 596/2014, as it forms part of United Kingdom domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, as amended, and has been announced in accordance with the Company's obligations under Article 17 of that Regulation.




+44 203 883 7009

David Palumbo / Nauman Babar

Strand Hanson - Nomad & Financial Adviser

+44 20 7409 3494

James Harris / Richard Johnson

Panmure Gordon - Joint Broker

+44 207 886 2500

John Prior / Harriette Johnson

Canaccord Genuity - Joint Broker

+44 207 523 8000

Henry Fitzgerald-O'Connor / James Asensio / Patrick Dolaghan

Alma PR - Financial Media & Investor Relations

+44 203 405 0205

Josh Royston / Sam Modlin

Instinctif - General Media Enquiries

+44 207 457 2381 / +44 788 788 4794

Chris Speight / Tim Field


About the project


The Project constitutes a plant located on a site owned by Toscana Cereali Societa' Cooperativa Agricola, from whom EQTEC Italia MDC Srl is leasing. The 1MWe plant currently approaching full commercial operation is capable of converting multiple types of biomass feedstock into electrical power and thermal energy. Initially, the plant will export electrical power to the national grid, for which a connection has been secured with a preferential tariff. Biomass feedstock will be provided by at least one local supplier with alternative suppliers also prepared to supply feedstock.


In addition to being a profitable, commercial-scale facility with an important role in the local, agricultural community, the Plant is expected to become a Market Development Centre for the Company, so that it can showcase EQTEC technology to prospective clients including Industrial, Utility, Municipal or other Agricultural clients looking to replicate success with sustainable, waste-to-energy technology.


The Company currently owns 19.99% of EQTEC Italia MDC Srl, with an option to acquire further equity in the Project.


About EQTEC plc


As one of the world's most experienced gasification technology and engineering companies, with a growing track record of delivering operational and commercial success for transforming waste-to-energy through best-in-class technology innovation, engineering and project development, EQTEC brings together design innovation, project delivery discipline and solid commercial experience to add momentum to the global energy transition. EQTEC's proven, proprietary and patented technology is at the centre of clean energy projects, sourcing local waste, championing local businesses, creating local jobs and supporting the transition to localised, decentralised and resilient energy systems.


EQTEC designs, supplies and builds advanced gasification facilities in the UK, EU and US, with highly efficient equipment that is modular and scalable from 1MW to 30MW. EQTEC's versatile solutions process over 50 varieties of feedstock, including forestry wood waste, vegetation and other agricultural waste from farmers, industrial waste and sludge from factories and municipal waste, all with no hazardous or toxic emissions. EQTEC's solutions produce a pure, high-quality synthesis gas ("syngas") that can be used for the widest range of applications, including the generation of electricity and heat, production of renewable natural gas (through methanation) or biofuels (through Fischer-Tropsch, gas-to-liquid processing) and reforming of hydrogen.


EQTEC's technology integration capabilities enable the Group to lead collaborative ecosystems of qualified partners and to build sustainable waste reduction and green energy infrastructure around the world.


The Company is quoted on AIM (ticker: EQT) and the London Stock Exchange has awarded EQTEC the Green Economy Mark, which recognises listed companies with 50% or more of revenues from environmental/green solutions.


Further information on the Company can be found at

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