Formal launch of EQTEC business in France to address growing pipeline including treatment of contaminated plastic waste

EQTEC plc, a world-leading technology innovation company enabling the Net Zero Future through advanced solutions for hydrogen, biofuels, SNG and other energy production, is pleased to announce the launch of a subsidiary company in France, together with completion of a collaboration agreement for handling of contaminated plastic waste.

Collaboration for clean energy from contaminated plastic waste

The Company has signed a Strategic Collaboration Agreement with SEPS SAS, a French company specialising in the management and recycling of industrial waste. The Agreement confirms the Parties’ shared intent to pursue development of contaminated waste treatment plants that apply the combined capabilities of SEPS and EQTEC technologies with initial interest focused on specific, offtake applications including electricity, heat, combined cooling, heat & power (CCHP) and biofuels.

Completion of the Agreement follows the announcement on 1 February 2022 that the Parties signed a Letter of Intent in December 2021 as a first step toward full collaboration, also indicating their intention to pursue deployment of both Parties’ technologies at an on-premise, industrial facility in Haute-Garonne, France. The Agreement reaffirms the intention to pursue the Project as the first focus for the collaboration, at a site already owned by SEPS. The Project would construct and commission a plant for transformation of contaminated plastic waste into clean syngas, applying both Parties’ technologies. The Agreement further expresses the intent to identify, pursue and replicate success with the Project at other locations.

The Agreement also follows the Company’s successful completion of a series of tests on contaminated plastics, undertaken with SEPS at EQTEC’s technology innovation facility in France through its partnership with the Université de Lorraine.

Launch of EQTEC France

To support a growing pipeline of opportunities in France, including the Project and other potential opportunities with SEPS, the Company has formalised its entry into the French market with establishment of EQTEC France SAS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of EQTEC plc. As announced in its interim results in September 2021, the Company has taken note of a highly active and accelerating interest in cleantech from the French national, regional and local governments and from potential lenders and development partners in France. Since then, the Company has been presented with a number of opportunities and strong encouragement from French stakeholders that suggest France will be a market of strong demand for EQTEC technology.

The Company has defined a further pipeline in France of a dozen opportunities and is bidding on three projects, including a waste-to-power project and two waste-to-biofuels projects. The development of these projects is progressing through collaboration with two, established owner-operators, each with significant waste and energy infrastructure experience and holdings in France. The Company will notify the market in due course about the progress of these bids.

EQTEC France is the third, formal, go-to-market entity established by the Company, following establishment of two, majority-owned joint ventures: Synergy Projects d.o.o. for Croatia in July 2021 and Synergy Projects Limited for Greece and the Aegean in September 2021. Establishment of the France subsidiary represents another step in the Company’s formalisation of go-to-market entities to support deployment of its technologies and manage local pipelines, partnerships and projects in a number of geographies where there is growing interest in replacing traditional, baseload energy solutions with EQTEC’s unique capabilities. The Company intends to announce additional entities in other target markets later this year.

To lead EQTEC France, the Company has appointed David Le Saint, who has been working in France with the Company since July 2021. David’s application of deep experience within project finance, venture capital and investment, together with his wide network of stakeholders, have resulted in rapid development of a diverse pipeline of opportunities in France, backed by the support of some of France’s largest financial institutions. David’s 20-plus years’ of experience includes roles in financial analysis, private equity and investment banking with JP Morgan Securities-Acofi, ABN AMRO and Hoche Inovalis Partners. He has overseen transactions across Europe and managed a mezzanine fund of €250 million, deploying capital in renewable energy, capital regulatory and real estate transactions. Just prior to joining EQTEC, he set up and led the international real asset investment management practice of a multi-billion-pound, single family office. David is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor (MRICS) and holds degrees from Cass Business School, Paris II Pantheon-Assas University and the University of Cambridge.

David Palumbo, CEO of EQTEC, commented:

“Formalisation of our market entry into France is a big step as we focus on building a pipeline of go-to-market entities and future licensors, each with a pipeline of projects. France is a major market with a strong history in progressive investment and development of new energy and we believe this will prove true also for baseload renewables such as clean syngas. As a leader in clean syngas production, we are proud to set our sights first on contaminated, plastic waste, in partnership with our colleagues at SEPS, who have a strong track record with this feedstock. We are also proud that our France market entry was made possible not only by David Le Saint’s tireless leadership there, but also on the strength of our R&D programme at the Université de Lorraine. The work we do together in France will make a direct contribution to reduction of rising volumes of plastic waste, transforming it into baseload energy and biofuels.”

Laurent Rousseau, CEO of SEPS, commented:

“This collaboration with EQTEC has been very well prepared over the past months, based on thorough review of one another’s technologies and culminating in joint testing at the EQTEC facility at Université de Lorraine. It is based on the proven success with contaminated plastic waste-to-syngas production we witnessed in situ that we are so happy to proceed. SEPS has a strong history with treatment of contaminated plastics, but with EQTEC’s leading syngas technology, we now see many doors opening for market growth and development in France and beyond. Our commitment to clean treatment of contaminated waste, together with EQTEC’s transformation of that waste into clean syngas will now support a range of applications for power, hydrogen and biofuels in support of local, energy security and fossil fuel replacement.”

This announcement follows previous announcements, including on 28 September 2021 that the Company had identified potential projects for biomass-to-energy and for gasification of industrial and contaminated waste and in its Q4 2021 Trading Update, EQTEC stated that it had: formed the alliance with SEPS; progressed negotiations to a development agreement towards financial close for the Biomasse31 project; and identified an additional five project opportunities for a range of biomass, RDF and other feedstock, as well as a range of offtake applications.

This announcement contains inside information as defined in Article 7 of the EU Market Abuse Regulation No 596/2014 and has been announced in accordance with the Company’s obligations under Article 17 of that Regulation.

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