Funding Secures Company’s UK Operations and Continued Global Growth
Los Angeles-based Arensis, an international provider of distributed energy systems, announces the financial close of £13,500,000 in debt funding (~$17,000,000 USD) from Hadrian’s Wall Secured Investments Limited (HWSIL), a London Stock Exchange listed fund.
The funding was secured for renewable energy facilities in the UK, expanding the company’s growth and global operations.
“We seek to identify investments with attractive risk/return profiles supported by robust assets, appropriate control, strong management teams and strong value propositions,” stated Marc Bajer, CEO of Hadrian’s Wall Capital, the investment adviser to HWSIL. “Arensis has exciting potential and we are pleased to support their expansion in the UK.”
Arens is provides the first truly decentralized hardware/software IOT based microgrid solution, converting local organic and inorganic biomass waste into renewable energy 24/7. In the last 12 months, Arensis purchased two underperforming UK wood pellet production facilities, saving UK jobs and quickly turning each of the plant operations around by installing its biomass to energy technology. The strategy was completed by vertically integrating a fuel supply in the UK for heating that replaces natural gas with renewable resources. Funding will be used for loan refinancing and to complete the integration of 52 Entrade units into the pellet production facilities. Financing at this scale was possible by de-risking the project with long-term fiber supply and offtake agreements, all within the UK.
“The projects will produce ~85 GWh of thermal energy per year, helping the UK prevent at least 20,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually,” stated Arensis Corporate Investment Director, Tony Morberg. “Not only is this a benefit for the local environment but the integration of our technology is forecast to reduce production costs by over 20%.”
“Our financing agreement with Hadrian’s Wall demonstrates our fiscal credibility with institutional capital providers and marks the largest project financing to date for Arensis,” stated Arensis CFO, Nick Tarditti. “Hadrian’s Wall Capital conducted exhaustive legal, technical, operational and financial due diligence and I’m very proud of our team for accomplishing this milestone transaction. We are all thrilled with the outcome and the new partnership with HWSIL.”
Integrating clean energy systems into pellet production plants is only one way Arens is deploys its Micro-CHP systems. In addition to target customers including electricity generation facilities, manufacturing facilities, agriculture and food processing plants, automotive manufacturers and EV charging stations, local farming communities, data centers and commercial and residential buildings, Arensis is making a global impact as a provider of energy access to remote regions and rural areas currently without grid access to electricity or natural gas. Additionally, Arensis is bringing relief support to those most impacted by climate change. The decentralized energy units offer an off-grid disaster relief solution when the electrical grid goes down in a natural disaster.
“We extend our sincere appreciation to Hadrian’s Wall Capital, our advisers Bridge & York Capital Partners, and our partners A.W. Jenkinson Forest Products and Verdo Renewables for helping us complete our vision of vertically integrating UK pellet plant production utilizing biomass resources that are both local and sustainable,” stated Arensis CEO, Julien Uhlig. “The culmination of putting together the right partners, the right team and the right technology has set us up on a production path for success in the UK and continued growth globally.”
Chipmakers in drought-hit Taiwan order water trucks to prepare for ‘the worst’
TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan chipmakers are buying water by the truckload for some of their foundries as the island widens restrictions on water supply amid a drought that could exacerbate a chip supply crunch for the global auto industry.
Some auto makers have already been forced to trim production, and Taiwan had received requests for help to bridge the shortage of auto chips from countries including the United States and Germany.
Taiwan, a key hub in the global technology supply chain for giants such as Apple Inc, will begin on Thursday to further reduce water supply for factories in central and southern cities where major science parks are located.
Water levels in several reservoirs in the island’s central and southern region stand at below 20%, following months of scant rainfall and a rare typhoon-free summer.
“We have planned for the worst,” Taiwan Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua told reporters on Tuesday. “We hope companies can reduce water usage by 7% to 11%.”
With limited rainfall forecast for the months ahead, Taiwan Water Corporation this week said the island has entered the “toughest moment”.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, this week started ordering small amounts of water by the truckload to supply some of its facilities across the island.
“We are making preparations for our future water demand,” TSMC told Reuters, describing the move as a “pressure test”. The chip giant said it has seen no impact on production. Both Vanguard International Semiconductor Corporation and United Microelectronics Corp signed contracts with water trucks and said there was no impact on production.
Vanguard said it has started a drill to truck water to its facilities in the northern city of Hsinchu.
Taiwanese technology companies have long complained about a chronic water shortage, which became more acute after factories expanded production following a Sino-U.S. trade war.
(Reporting By Yimou Lee; additional reporting by Jeanny Kao; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
Oil slips after U.S. crude stocks rise amid deep freeze hit to refiners
By Sonali Paul
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Oil prices fell in early trade on Wednesday after industry data showed U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly rose last week as a deep freeze in the southern states curbed demand from refineries that were forced to shut.
Crude stockpiles rose by 1 million barrels in the week to Feb. 19, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday, against estimates for a draw of 5.2 million barrels in a Reuters poll.
API data showed refinery crude runs fell by 2.2 million bpd.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 55 cents or 0.9% at $61.12 a barrel at 0136 GMT, after slipping 3 cents on Tuesday.
Brent crude futures fell 38 cents, or 0.6%, to $64.99 a barrel, erasing Tuesday’s 13 cents gain.
Investors will be awaiting confirmation from the U.S. Energy Information Administration later on Wednesday that crude inventories rose last week, despite the hit to shale oil production amid the unprecedented icy spell in the U.S. south.
“The key question is how quickly does U.S. oil supply recover. It looks like supply will recover faster than refineries, and supply is going to outpace demand in the next few weeks. That will give negative weight to the market,” Commonwealth Bank analyst Vivek Dhar said.
The price retreat is being seen as a pause following a rally of more than 26% to 13-month highs in both Brent and WTI since the start of the year.
Prices have jumped due to the U.S. supply disruption and supply discipline by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, together called OPEC+, led by an extra 1 million bpd cut by Saudi Arabia.
At the same time stimulus spending to boost growth, investors rotating into commodities, and hopes that the rollout of vaccinations could lead to an easing of pandemic restrictions are all buoying oil prices.
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
Oil settles mixed amid post-storm uncertainty
By Laura Sanicola
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices settled near year-long highs on Tuesday on signs that global coronavirus restrictions were being eased, although concerns about the pace of a U.S. economic recovery and the return of Texas oil production kept gains in check.
U.S. crude settled down 3 cents to $61.67 a barrel, still close to its highest levels since January 2020. Brent crude <LCOc1> settled up 13 cents, or 0.2%, to $65.37 a barrel.
Both contracts rose more than $1 earlier before retreating.
Shale oil producers and refiners in the southern United States are slowly resuming production after 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output and nearly 20% of U.S. refining capacity shut down because of last week’s winter storm.
Traffic at the Houston ship channel was slowly returning to normal. Production, however, was not expected to fully restart soon and some shale producers forecast lower oil output in the first quarter.
Some oil production may never come back, commodities merchant Trafigura said on Tuesday.
After the cold snap, U.S. crude oil stockpiles were also seen falling for a fifth straight week, while the inventories of refined products also declined last week, an extended Reuters poll showed.
“It appears that last week’s severe cold spell and related Texas power outage could be affecting the weekly EIA data into the middle of next month,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Illinois.
There were also concerns over the U.S. economic recovery, which the chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, said remained “uneven and far from complete.”
He said it would be “some time” before the central bank considered changing policies it had adopted to help the country back to full employment.
Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said the recent oil price rise was buoyed by upbeat price forecasts from U.S. brokers.
Goldman Sachs expects Brent prices to reach $70 per barrel in the second quarter from the $60 it predicted previously, and $75 in the third quarter from $65 forecast earlier.
Morgan Stanley, which expects Brent to reach $70 in the third quarter, said new COVID-19 cases were falling while “mobility statistics are bottoming out and are starting to improve”.
Bank of America said Brent prices could temporarily spike to $70 in the second quarter.
(Reporting by Laura Sanicola in New York; Additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London and Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Mark Heinrich)
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Chipmakers in drought-hit Taiwan order water trucks to prepare for ‘the worst’
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