26 May, 2020
Questions received online during 25 May 2020 AGM
Shareholder Question 1
Q: When in the future do you foresee the company paying a dividend?
A: The Board will periodically look at the financial performance of the company, along with cash balances, to determine declaring a dividend. In the near term, the Board views the opportunities to grow our international markets for Phoslock® as the immediate priority for the Company’s resources.
Shareholder Question 2
Q: Re the $380M pipeline, how much of that do you reasonably expect to convert to sales orders within the next 3 years?
A: Projects come and go from this list; some will be completed in the 2023-time frame and for various reasons some may not. Other projects not mentioned in the current pipeline can be also be brought forward during this time, e.g. the Rio de Janeiro application was not in our pipeline, but application is occurring this year. We expect a substantial proportion of the pipeline projects to be completed within the time frame.
Shareholder Questions 3
Q: One of the major projects is the nine Yunnan alpine lakes. Is this a massive project working on all nine lakes subject to performance of Xingyun and Dianchi lakes? Are just stages of the bigger project?
A: PET’s work and positive results on Xingyun (34,000 hectares) has led to a trial on Dianchi (300,000 hectares). Both are very large projects. Good results on these projects could lead to work on some of the other Yunnan alpine lakes. These projects are not conditional on each other but positive results in one, obviously is beneficial in being awarded further work in the area.
Shareholder Question 4
Q: South Lake in Wuhan was originally to start about now but was delayed due to covid19. With Wuhan seeming to open back up have we had discussions to restart this project this year.
A: PET is looking to undertake the South Lake in Wuhan as soon as the local government advises that we can do so. We are hoping for this to occur in the second half of 2020.
Shareholder Question 5
Q: with the Dianchi lake trial, are the people/body assessing the results the same as the ones who assessed the initial results of Xingyun lake
A: Xingyun lake is administered by the Yuxi regional Government.
Dianchi lake is administered by the city of Kunming.
The lake assessments are separate reviews by separate government departments.
Although, both projects are less than 100km apart, Kunming officials have visited Xingyun on several occasions.
Shareholder Question 6
Q: Does the company have any plans to expand operations in Australia? For example, to combat the mass fish die-off in the Darling River following an algal plume last year.
A: Yes, a greater presence in our home market is part of strategy. While Australia and NZ are not our largest opportunity globally, it is especially important to have a strong and visible presence locally. We have been and will continue to work with local government to help manage their waterways, including the Murray Darling Basin.
Shareholder Question 7
Q: With the 3 major projects – rest of world (i.e. Mexico, Uruguay and Middle East) has any more progress been made on these?
A: Mexico – strong progress has been made on this project up until the Covid 19 crisis; with meetings planned in March 2020. Discussions will continue as soon as possible
Uruguay – project has momentum but going slowly.
Middle East – civil unrest in this region is now a risk. The project is on hold until local issues become more settled.
Shareholder Question 8
Q: Will we attempt to assist Australian water bodies that are plagued with poor water quality and B/G algae. It is disappointing to have such a great Australian product but doing little with it to help the Australian environment. Australia should be the display home.
A: Yes. Critically, for several higher profile water problems in Australia the issues are not only due to excess phosphate. In several of them, the problem is a lack of water and other issues. The Murray Darling Basin for example has had more than two Sydney Harbour’s worth of water removed from the water catchment. Please also see the answer to Q6.
Shareholder Question 9
Q: With M$50 in cash and cash receivables, what is the motivation and reasons for creating new banking facilities. Thank you?
A: PET is looking to put in place working capital facilities to finance material purchases (both for the factory and engineering projects) and receivables management.
The purpose is to ensure flexibility to smooth our operational cashflows as our business grows.
Shareholder Question 10
Q: Is range in other Chinese projects and new international projects due to the uncertain size of definite projects or possible new projects that are not yet definite?
A: In the AGM presentation slides is one slide detailing the projects that make up $50-70m sales forecast for 2020. The difference in these two numbers is due to uncertainty in the size of a definite project. Projects that are not definite sit in our pipeline rather than our forecast.
Shareholder Question 11
Q: With the recent significant trial of Dianchi announcement, is that lake in full or part included in the project pipeline?
A: The current Sales forecast includes a small amount for Dianchi. The sales pipeline includes a more significant amount. Should the project move to full scale applications on Dianchi, the Sales forecast would need to be materially increased.
Shareholder Question 12
Q: Mr Chairman, Lachie, are we relying on China being our only source of production? Can our production meet a 380m to in three years forecast?
A: We have no plans at present to manufacture outside China, in large part because of cheap access to our key raw materials. The new factory has the capacity for multi-line production – each new line of manufacturing capacity (20,000 tpa) can be added as required, with up to an additional 80,000 tpa if needed.
Note, $380m is the total value of our current pipeline. It is not expected that we would sell $380m worth of Phoslock® in one year. Also, please remember, not all the projected sales are for Phoslock®– some are for engineering work for example.
Shareholder Question 13
Q: Mr Chairman, there was little said about North America, does Lachie feel his experience will make inroads into this market which we seem to have underperformed compared to other markets.
A: Yes, Lachie has spent the last three years with Nufarm in North America. He has good contacts and understanding of the region.
Shareholder Question 14
Q: Could the Directors please comment on any key competitors to PET products
A: There are no key competitors to Phoslock® . There are other mechanical alternatives, but these do not actually remove phosphate from the water body in a cost-effective way, without massive disruption to the ecosystem. Alternative chemical solutions have several toxicity issues preventing them from being used in open water bodies or for drinking water. Note – in earlier presentations, PET has provided detailed slides on competitor analysis.