Our family office was invited to participate on the call with Quantafuel (QFUEL) management on Friday 12/11/2021. The family office that invited us owns above 1% of QFUEL. Our family office has a material position in QFUEL too. There was no information that was not mentioned before, but several useful clarifications. I summarize below the main takeaways :
- QFUEL already has in Skive or has confirmed deliveries of parts for all four lines modifications. There should be no delay with modifications on all lines.
- The plant modifications have already started
- Plant modifications are on schedule and should be completed in two-three weeks so that “cold plant testing” could begin in early December
- guidance for CAPEX was reconfirmed. The mgmt indicated that they are “very comfortable” on the CAPEX – they see an opportunity to get below the guided CAPEX
- Proof of concept – it is a self-imposed hurdle by QFUEL mgmt. They originally imposed three hurdles:
- (i) run one line at the full capacity,
- (ii) run two lines in parallel, and
- (iii) run one line for a defined number of days and generate product at required specifications.
- The first two hurdles were already achieved, the third is guided to be reached around the year-end.
- After QFUEL achieves the Proof of Concept on one line, they will aim to reach continuous production. They are guiding that should be achieved in 1Q22.
- All four lines are guided to be running at continuous production in 2Q22
- operation of the 20k mechanical line is on track to start during December 2021.
- the line should produce an annual EBITDA of 25 million NOK
- It will be the first operating and cash-generating plant for QFUEL
FIDs for large plants
- the first FID for a large plant should be with Vitol, sometimes at mid-year 2022. At the moment, QFUEL is working with Vitol on a feasibility study and obtaining plant permits. So the Vitol project is already progressing
- BASF FID probably after Vitol FID
Large plant economics
- 100k ton plant should cost 100-150 mil USD. That is what was previously guided. QFUEL mgmt indicated they should get below the guided range
- The plant should produce EBITDA of 50 mil USD annually
- The payback for a plant should be 2-3 years at the EBITDA level. If you take taxes and financing into account, payback should be around 4 years.
- many companies are generating revenue from selling CO2 permits.
- QFUEL is planning to look into this opportunity – they are finding ways whether there is a possibility to obtain CO2 permits from Denmark’s government for the Skive plant.
It was positive to see management confidence in reaching the proof of concept around the New Year.
Share price impact: If you look at past price performance, when the market expected proof of concept, the share price jumped above 70 NOK. The share price could easily beat this when proof of concept is achieved. That is 150% upside. If the proof of concept is again delayed, you could seek QFUEL declining to low 20s NOK. That is 20% downside. 150% upside vs 20% downside seems like a good risk reward.
The company is very active in preparing new plant projects. Once the proof of concept is achieved, there should be a lot of traction – there will be four large plants under construction at the same time. There should be a lot of positive newsflow.
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