Hydrogen Utopia announces Joint Venture with Powerhouse Energy for waste plastics to hydrogen plant in Ireland
Hydrogen Utopia International PLC (AQSE:HUI), a company pioneering non-recyclable waste plastics to hydrogen technology, is pleased to announce that it has agreed heads of terms (“HoTs”) with Powerhouse Energy Group PLC for the joint development of a site at Lanespark in Co.Tipperary in the Midlands in Ireland which it anticipates will lead to HUI’s first operational full scale waste plastic to hydrogen facility in Europe (the “Lanespark Project”).
HUI and PHE have agreed, subject to obtaining an acceptable title to the proposed site and relevant project documentation being completed, to establish a joint venture vehicle owned equally by each company with development costs being contributed to on a 50:50 basis (the “JV”). Under the HoTs, PHE has agreed to pay HUI a non-returnable payment of £400,000 in cash and advance to HUI a loan of £600,000, in recognition of HUI’s contribution to the Lanespark Project through its technological approach to the waste plastics to hydrogen process, identifying the site and its potential and its negotiation of a deal with the current site owners. It is anticipated that the Lanespark Project will not only bring a site that can benefit from either local, national or EU grant funding or a combination of them, but which will also offer significant potential for local feedstock supply and offtake agreements with potential tier 1 customers.
The proposed waste plastic to hydrogen plant will be built on part of the site currently leased to Trifol Resources Limited (“TRL”). The site was referred to in HUI’s announcement of its investment in TRL and the proposed plant in Ireland on 26 April 2022. PHE’s participation in the Lanespark Project, the payment and the loan to HUI referred to above are conditional upon TRL and the freeholder agreeing to provide the JV an acceptable title to the site, which will enable the Lanespark Project to be financed (the “Title Condition”). HUI is in advanced discussions with the relevant parties to satisfy the Title Condition. The loan to be provided to HUI by PHE will be available for drawdown in whole or in part upon satisfaction of the Title Condition and the completion of project documentation which will include amongst other documents, a development agreement and a shareholder agreement. The loan would have a term of up to two years, with redemption in full possible after one or two years through a bullet repayment of £660,000 or £750,000, respectively and, in each case, reflecting rolled up interest and capital. HUI would provide PHE with security for the loan through a charge over its shares in the JV. 10 In recognition of the fact that the proposed joint venture will supersede any pre-existing arrangements between HUI and PHE, the parties have agreed that the existing Exclusivity Agreement between PHE and HUI’s UK operating subsidiary and the existing Collaboration Agreement between the same parties will each be mutually terminated without any further obligation on either party. In addition to their collaboration on the Lanespark Project, HUI and PHE will consider collaboration on future projects as and when beneficial, although neither party is obligated to do so.
Guy Peters, Executive Chairman of HUI, commented: “This deal offers us the opportunity to jointly pioneer a European waste plastic to hydrogen plant in an area that offers plentiful feedstock supply and offtake potential in an attractive jurisdiction. Utilising the technological expertise and skills of both companies’ teams and our wider network of suppliers and experts should enable us to deliver a plant that will act as a circular economy showcase to the world.”
Aleksandra Binkowska, CEO of HUI, commented: “We are at a critical point in modern world history as a result of global forces beyond our control. The global pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine caused an economic and geopolitical crisis which changed the world as we knew it. That reinforces a need for strong alliances and partners who share our goals and vision. HUI joining forces with PHE for our project in Ireland is a natural and complementary alliance: together, sharing knowledge and resources, we can realise our vision more quickly and efficiently. United we stand, divided we take a lot longer.”
Neel Achary is the editor of Business News This Week. He has been covering all the business stories, economy, and corporate stories.