Friday, September 23, 2016

Navy Doubles Down on Ocean Power

The last post “Grid Connected Ocean Power” on September 20, 2016, highlighted the claim by the U.S. Navy of the first grid connected ocean power generator in the country.  Two wave power systems have been connected to the electrical system at the U.S. Marine Base in Kanehoe Bay, Hawaii.  The Navy is gathering performance data as part of its on-going program to support renewable energy to perfect system designs, installation strategies on-going maintenance.  That is apparently not enough for the nation’s sailors.  Last week the Navy announced an award of $250,000 to Ocean Power Technologies (OPTT:  Nasdaq) to support the design of a ocean power buoy especially suited for military needs.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Grid Connected Ocean Power

The U.S. Navy is laying claim to the first electric grid connected wave power generator in the country.  A test site has been set up near military facilities at Kaneohe Bay in the Hawaiian Islands, where wave activity is known to be exceptional.  Yes, Hawaii is part of the United States.  The project consists of two wave-power generation systems or ‘power buoys’ anchored about a half-mile off shore.  The two buoys are connected by undersea cable to the Marine Corps base at Kaneohe and ultimately to Oahu’s electric power grid.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Darling Ingredients' Bean Stalk

Once upon a time there was a boy named Jack,
Who lived with his widowed mother
On their small farm in the country.
                        Benjamin Tabart
                        The History of Jack and the Bean Stalk

Jack made a mistake or two on the road to fixing his family’s income problems, but in the end Jack’s bean deal prove lucrative.  We are wondering if Darling Ingredients’ (DAR:  NYSE) acquisition of VION Group in early 2014, will prove as beneficial to the food by-products processor.  The VION operation was a division of VION Holdings N.V. based in the Netherlands that just like Darling collects and re-purposes by-products of grain and animal food production in Europe. 
The VION deal expanded Darling’s food by-products business with six new brands that at first appeared to simply add processing capacity and visibility in the European and Asian markets.  Indeed, like its new parent VION operates rendering plants that produce both edible and non-edible fats, cures hides, biofuel, and proteins, blood and other edible products used as food ingredients.  However, over the last year and a half, the addition of those six brands appears to have confused rather than enhanced valuation of DAR.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Biffa Gets Recycled

Investors will have a second chance for a stake in Britain’s solid waste management operation Biffa Group.  The company is staging an initial public offering of GBP270 million (US$356 million).  Certain shares are being offered by current shareholders.  The stock will be listed on the London Stock Exchange as BIFF.  The IPO represents the 100-year old company’s second time around with a publicly traded stock.  After only two years as a public company Biffa was taken private in 2008 through a leveraged buyout only to be seized by creditors in 2012 at the peak of the financial crisis.
The Biffa IPO gives investors a bite at the second largest solid waste management and recycling operation in the U.K.  Veolia Environmental Services is the top waste collector in the U.K. with about GBH$1.5 billion in annual revenue. Biffa runs a distance second, followed closely by the Pennon Group’s Viridor and Suez Environment.  With a new management team at the helm  -  most appear to have come on board as part of the  turnaround team -  current shareholders must be looking to cash out of the rescue effort.