blsp north carolina

Battling Food Waste: Blue Sphere

If ‘food waste’ was a country it would be ranked as the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the world behind only China and the United States.  To reach this conclusion the World Resources Institute used food waste data in 2011, and considered agriculture inputs, food processing, land use, deforestation, food waste disposal, and landfill impacts. The carbon footprint of wasted food is a big one with cereals contributing about 35% of the greenhouse gas emissions even though is only about 19% of food waste volume.  Meat on the other hand is a small part of the food waste problem as it...

Advanced biofuels pioneer Terrabon files for chapter 7 bankruptcy: One-off or trend?

Jim Lane Closely-watched green gasoline producer collapses as Waste Management (WM) declines next financing round. What does it mean for companies like Fulcrum Bioenergy, Enerkem, Agilyx, Agnion, Renmatix, Genomatica, and InEnTec? The Digest looks at the inside story. In Texas, Terrabon filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection; the company’s operations will cease and a trustee will be tasked with liquidating the company’s assets for the benefit of creditors. The complete Chapter 7 announcement is here. In a statement, Terrabon’s leadership said that company could not obtain additional corporate funding to finish developing and engineering its...

Covanta: The Big Player In Waste-to-Energy

by Debra Fiakas CFA Covanta Holding Corp. (CVA:  NYSE) is among the largest waste-to-energy developers and producers in the U.S.  The company couples waste collection services for local government and industry with power generation for local municipal or commercial customers.  Covanta’s waste handling and ‘mass-burn’ process also allows for metal recovery and sales.  The company operates forty-six waste-to-energy facilities mostly in North America supported by eighteen waste transfer stations and four ash landfills.  Covanta is a big player in the waste-to-energy industry, but what kind of yield does it's stock offer investors? Covanta’s management team...

Covanta Turns Waste into Cash

Debra Fiakas, CFA The Waste Hierarchy, with energy from waste highlighted The self-styled “energy-from-waste” company Covanta Holding (CVA:  NYSE) turns municipal waste into electricity and recycled metals.  The operations also turned 21.9% of its revenue into cash in 2011.  We note that the conversation ratio has declined over the last three years from 28.7% in 2009 and 27.2% in 2010, but we are still impressed with any cash conversion rate over 20%. The company operates forty-one mass-burn facilities around the U.S. that burn all manner...

The X Factor in Covanta’s Capital Budget

Debra Fiakas, CFA The Waste Hierarchy, with energy from waste highlighted In the last post “Covanta on a Mission to Up-cycle Municipal Waste," I noted that even a group of experts advising Covanta Holding (CVA:  NYSE), has some concerns about the wisdom of channeling municipal waste through mass burn facilities like those of Covanta.  Recycling and reuse are considered even higher uses for municipal waste that result in net lower toxic emissions and net higher energy savings or energy generation.  For example, a report published by...

Turning Potato Peels To Power

by Debra Fiakas CFA The series on waste-to-energy continues with Blue Sphere, Inc. (BLSP:  OTC/QB), a relatively new entrant to the biogas power generation market.  Blue Sphere is focused on converting principally food waste to power using anaerobic digestion technology.  In May 2014, Blue Sphere started construction on a bio-digester and power generation facility near Charlotte, North Carolina, that will turn potato peelings and apple cores into 5.2 megawatts of power.  Duke Energy (DUK:  NYSE) has been lined up to buy the power when the plant goes operational sometime before the end of 2015. Management expects to...

Casella Back In The Dumps, But Ready To Pick Up?

by Debra Fiakas CFA Casella Plants Flag in Waste-to-Energy The solid waste collection and disposal industry has been transformed by the building enthusiasm for waste recycling.  Founded in 1975, Casella Waste Systems (CWST:  Nasdaq) has been around to experience a lot of change and has been quick to get on the bandwagon.  The company is a self-described recycler and resource manager as well as a solid waste collector. Granted the company is still heavily focused on its conventional solid waste business.  Casella management has outlined a four-point plan to grow the company and increase profits.  Top on...
GPP

Covanta and Green Plains Partners Don’t Let A Crisis Go To Waste

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Last week, two of the stocks in my Ten Clean Energy Stocks model portfolio cut their dividends.  Covanta Holding Corp (CVA) dropped its quarterly payout from $0.25 to $0.08 (a 68% cut) while Green Plains Partners (GPP) slashed its quarterly distribution from $0.475 to $0.12, a drop of 74.75%. Before reducing their dividends, both companies had payout ratios near 100%, meaning that substantially all of their free cash flow was going to pay dividends.  In general, companies are very reluctant to cut their dividends because it is a signal that their management thinks they cannot grow...

Blue Sphere’s First Revenue

by Debra Fiakas CFA Blue Sphere (BLSP:  OTC) is continuing to make progress in its strategic plans to build and operate biogas power plants.  The company is initially targeting the largely untapped supply of organic wastes from food processing and table to meet growing demand for renewable, no– or low-carbon emission energy sources.  A year ago, the company’s portfolio consisted of a string of projects all in the planning stage.  Management has pushed two food waste-to-energy projects in the U.S.to the construction stage and closed on the first four acquisitions of fully operational agriculture-waste biogas power plants in...

Global Resource Corporation and Mobilestream Oil

This is the text of an email I received from a reader of my article on Global Resource Corporation (GBRC.PK).  He has reason to suspect that things are much worse than just the weak governance issues I uncovered. I have been posting on Investors Hub as a result of family members being stung for a substantial purchase of Mobilestream Oil (MSRM.pk), now being converted to Global Resource stock. A poster gave me the link to your interesting article about Global and your problems contact Jeff Andrews. I am trying to contact Mr...

The Pros Pick Two (Correction:Four) Offbeat Cleantech Stocks for 2014

Tom Konrad CFA Green 2014 image via BigStock Among the dozen stocks picked by my panel of professional green money managers for 2014, most followed three themes: Solar stocks, IT stocks, and income stocks.  Two didn’t, and they are included here. This Cash-Rich Water Company Could Produce a Big Dividend The first is a Japanese water utility, picked by Rafael Coven, the Managing Director at the Cleantech Group, and manager of the Cleantech index (^CTIUS) which underlies the Powershares Cleantech ETF (NYSE:PZD.) Coven likes...
zero waste-to-landfill

Covanta Accelerating Zero-Waste-to-Landfill

Last week Covanta (CVA:  NYSE) opened a new materials processing facility in Indianapolis, increasing waste handling capacity by 500%.   The waste handler has been in operation in the community for three decades, collecting and processing over 2,100 tons of solid waste every day to steam energy in a waste-to-energy incinerator.  Citizen Thermal Energy buys the steam to heat the buildings of its commercial customers. The new materials processing facility increases Covanta’s waste handling capacity.  The company is targeting manufacturers in the Indianapolis area that are still sending wastes to landfills.  Covanta wants to collect more waste as well as attract waste types unique to manufacturers that need...

In the Middle(sex) of the Organics-to-Power Sector

by Debra Fiakas CFA A post in June featured Middlesex Water Company (MSEX: Nasdaq) as an unlikely player in the waste-to-energy game.  However, Middlesex has proven a capable project integrator, capitalizing on its collective knowledge of process engineering to launch a turnkey alternative energy service.  A successful waste-to-energy project in the Village of Ridgewood, New Jersey has placed Middlesex squarely in the middle of the organics-to-power sector.  Ridgewood taps its waste water for methane to power an electric generator.  The power is used at the Ridgewood Water Pollution Control Plant, making the plant self-sufficient for electricity. The...

Focus On Clean Power Income Trusts

Last week, Tom brought you a piece on the Algonquin Power Income Fund (AGQNF.PK), in which he opined that shift in investor attention away from capital gains toward yield might eventually provide a catalyst for the prices of yield-focused securities such as income trusts to rise. So-called utility trusts, or income trusts where the underlying corporation is engaged in utility activities such as power generation, are a common feature of the Canadian income trust sector (the mother of all income trust sectors). A sub-set of utility trusts is the clean power utility trust, where the power generation...

Global Resource Corporation: Needed Technology; Unanswered Questions About Management

On July 3, The Energy Blog told us about a process of turning old tires back into valuable oil and gasses.  Given the problems of Peak Oil and plastic waste which can mimic almost anything in the environment, I was intrigued, and I had the feeling that other watchers of the alternative energy space would be, too.  After a quick review to make sure that the technology was based on sound science (I believe it is, although that is no guarantee that it can be commercialized), and a search for information about their governance policies and a board list...

Covanta on a Mission to Up-cycle Municipal Waste

Debra Fiakas, CFA The Waste Hierarchy, with energy from waste highlighted Covanta Energy (CVA:  NYSE) is a champion of renewable energy.  So much so that Covanta commissioned an elaborate sustainability report in 2010, detailing the company’s three-year track record in elevating municipal waste from the landfill to a higher order of use.  Compliant with standards set by the Global Reporting Initiative, the report is full of choice tidbits from Covanta’s municipal waste experience  -  at least through the year 2009. Let’s look at 2009, the last...
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