Acta

www.actagroup.it TICKER: ACTA     EXCHANGE: AIM

Acta, the Italian-based company, have developed revolutionary catalyst technology for the hydrogen infrastructure, and through its Acta Energy division is commercialising products that exploit this technology. In 2010, Acta entered the Italian solar PV market, and will pursue synergies between solar energy and its Hydrogen Infrastructure products, thus helping facilitate the Hydrogen Society. Acta has developed unique low-cost hydrogen generators, which in combination with its fuel cells, can be used to power land and water-based vehicles. This technology can also be used to provide energy storage for renewable energy installations. A variant of the electrolyser can be used to increase the efficiency of petrol and diesel engines, with significant reduction in both fuel consumption and emissions possible. The development of an ethanol reforming-based version of the system intended for the Brazilian market is underway under a product development and distribution partnership with Nelson Piquet, Torben Grael and a Brazilian engineering consultancy firm, with potential annual shipment volumes of tens of thousands. Acta signed a preliminary contract in March 2010 with SPF Energy S.p.A. ( a specialist renewable energy investment fund created and managed by the independent Italian bank Sopaf S.p.A.) for the installation of large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) parks in Italy. Subsequently, Acta acquired agreements, applications and authorizations for the installation of PV plants from Sun Global Service S.r.l., an engineering consultancy with whom Acta had been working to develop a PV consent pipeline. The impact on Acta's long term solar plans and the solar industry in Italy as a result of a chaotic introduction to FIT changes in March remains to be seen.

LATEST REPORTS

 
Judgement by trials
Published: Sep 29 2014

H1 results show steady progress in the commercialisation of the company's hydrogen technology, with higher unit sales volumes and, encouragingly, an increase in repeat orders for electrolysers, leading to total sales of €304,000, or 28% ahead of H1 2013. 
The operating loss of €1,683,000 for the period was less than H1 2013, helped by lower operating costs. Although cash at the end of the period stood at €0.3m, a subsequent fund raising in August raised £2m.
In the period three of the Acta Power site evaluations for telecoms back-up power were successfully concluded, and one is still in progress. Acta also achieved a strategic marketing and cooperation agreement with ReliOn, a leading US fuel cell manufacturer.
Overall, solid progress continues to be made in commercialising Acta's hydrogen technology,  with the prospect of a ramp up in volume sales approaching closer. 
 
Another link in partner chain
Published: Jul 14 2014

News of the product development partnership with Dantherm Power A/S to develop a self-recharging fuel cell backup power system for off-grid back-up power in cold and remote areas, is the latest indicator of how widespread the recognition of the need for onsite hydrogen has become.
Dantherm needs onsite hydrogen generation to provide an offering that complements IdaTech's methanol system for remote and off-grid/renewable applications, and thus this partnership opens up a new channel for Acta to sell into Ballard/Dantherm sites that are not methanol fuelled.
Acta and Dantherm will initially work on a unit scheduled for deployment in September 2014 on an island in the Arctic Circle, where it will be powered by a wind turbine. This unit will integrate Acta's EL 1000 electrolyser with Dantherm's fuel cell backup power system. 
Although we do not seeing this impacting on our current year forecasts, this heavily underscores the widening acceptance of hydrogen technology in the telecoms, off-grid and renewable markets, with Acta having a highly suitable solution to sell into these markets.
 
Trading update
Published: Jun 25 2014

In its commercial and trading update today Acta reported continued progress in marketing the Acta Power system to the mobile telecommunications and renewable energy storage sectors, and further repeat orders from its existing clients (Heliocentris). 
However, the company also warned that the duration of sales cycles in the telecoms sector is longer and more difficult to determine than had previously been estimated.
The interest across several, large, global sectors in Acta's products is demonstrated clearly by the lengthening pipeline of opportunities, and this is reflected in the significant sales growth being experienced by the company, but we adjust our immediate forecasts lower on this guidance.
Nonetheless, we believe that the accelerating take-up of Acta's technology will achieve the expected sales growth, albeit delayed by around half a year, and thus maintain our medium term share price target of 21p.
 
Just as ordered
Published: May 14 2014

Further evidence for the acceptance of Acta's hydrogen technology platform is demonstrated by the announcement today of the repeat order for fifteen 500L/h modular rack-mounted electrolysers from M-Field Energy Ltd, following the sale of six similar systems in October 2013. 
Taiwan-based M-Field has had a strong presence in the fuel cell market for the past ten years as a system integrator, with an acknowledged capability in telecoms back-up power systems, supplying operators in Asia and elsewhere. The back-up units from M-Field integrates Acta's electrolyser with Ballard 2kW fuel cell stacks. Encouragingly, M-Field ordered around 200 of these 2kW units earlier this year.
On a comparison with the value of US fuel cell sector valuations and further positive order flow, Acta could attract a market capitalisation of  €42m, which would equate to 21p per share.
 
This year's breakthrough act(a)
Published: Mar 26 2014

2013 preliminary results were broadly in line with our expectations, and indicate Acta's strengthening position in the fuel cell sector. However, we expect a step-function change in Acta's performance as the significant opportunity pipeline is realised over the next 24 months and beyond.
We believe that Acta's unique electrolyser technology is emerging as the most versatile, robust and cost-effective solution for generating hydrogen on-site for fuel cells. Evidence is also growing worldwide that the economics of fuel cells are now attractive for a number of multi-million US$ applications.
Five Acta Power units have been sold, and the device is the subject of negotiations for network evaluations involving 50 to 150 units per customer. We expect the current year to be the breakthrough year for Acta, but the current share price does not reflect this. 
Taking a lead from the US fuel cell sector valuations, a share price move to 21p would not be inappropriate.
 
Update affirms progress
Published: Jan 27 2014

Acta S.p.A. is a developer and manufacturer of a range of clean energy products. 
Within less than a year from its launch in April 2013, Acta Power - the hydrogen battery - has gained strong traction with telecommunications operators in several parts of the world. It is particularly suited as a back-up power system for mobile base stations in poor-grid and off-grid applications, where it offers a more efficient and less costly solution than traditional batteries and gen-sets.
Indications from its partners point to a likely granting of approved product certification for the system in Q2 2014, with network evaluation contracts to follow. Importantly, Acta reports that CE Certification was secured before year -end, allowing for rapid commercial roll-out once reviews are completed.
Having ended the year to 31 December 2013 with a relatively comfortable Euro 2.1m net cash position, the company looks to us favourably positioned to benefit from the expected roll-out of Acta Power systems. 
 
Successful Placing
Published: Oct 25 2013

Acta has this morning announced an institutional Placing raising £2.1 million gross, through the issue of 30 million new shares at 7p per share.
Following the successful launch of Acta Power in April this year, the company will use the (net) proceeds to finance the working capital requirements of its commercial expansion.

ARCHIVE

2013
Repeat orders prove traction
Published: Oct 03 2013

The first half of 2013 has been a landmark period in Acta's development with an immediate and encouraging response since the company launched the Acta Power onsite hydrogen generation system at Hannover Messe in April. It has already shipped the first power units  for installation into live operational site trials with numerous large mobile phone operators in Asia and Africa. 
 
It appears that Acta's product is meeting the market's price and performance requirements, and that there will be increasing adoption of the Acta Power system in back-up power and renewable energy storage applications.
 
Product sales in the period reached 231,000 (€43,000 in 1H 2012, €108,000 in 2H 2012). Revenues in 1H 2012 were dominated by R&D services and revenues from the discontinued solar EPC business, thus a comparison of total revenues for the two periods masks the underlying expansion of product sales, in which Acta's future lies. 
 
Repeat orders have been received from 47% of Acta's system customers, and 28% have placed orders for 5 systems or more. Acta is clearly finding the right customers for its hydrogen products.
Acta Power launched
Published: Apr 10 2013

Acta has launched a fuel cell-based back-up power unit aimed at the telecommunications market. The unit is targeted at both grid-connected and off-grid applications, and was developed in response to the fast-growing demand for back-up power systems in mobile base stations, particularly in Asia. It is a solution that integrates an electrolyser with a fuel cell stack
Acta Power uses FutureE's fuel cell systems, which are based on the Ballard stack, and importantly allow further scope to work with an industry leader.
Last month also saw the MVS Energy Solutions distribution deal in India: predicting sales in 2013 of Acta's electrolysers in excess of 100 units, with significant further growth in 2014.
Green and Wight: self sustainable energy
Published: Feb 22 2013

Acta has signed a Letter of Intent with Ecoisland whose aim is to make the Isle of Wight into a flagship for renewable energy generation, energy storage and smart networks, and the first sustainable region in Britain. 
This is a significant opportunity for Acta, representing a potentially major step-up from the company's current involvement in eco-island transportation ( and also aligns Acta with Ballard, an industry leader in hydrogen fuel cells). 
Acta's role will be the domestic hydrogen partner for Ecoisland, providing a renewable energy storage solution addressing the wrong-time issues of intermittent renewable sources. The trial is expected to begin before the end of April and to run for around 3 months.
The recent newsflow, placing, and today's Ecoisland announcement, show that the company's hydrogen technology has put Acta on a very promising path.
2012
Order flow building
Published: Oct 16 2012

Acta's revolutionary electrolyser technology is at the core of its mission to bring renewable energy, hydrogen generation and fuel cell technology to the mass market.
The first half saw the first fruits of Acta focusing on its core hydrogen technology portfolio, where it holds a global leadership position. There were new product launches and strategic partnerships, including the strategic investment by Heliocentris.
Encouragingly, Acta has just received a repeat order from Taiwan-based M-Field Energy for electrolysers for integration into a fully-integrated fuel cell back-up power system, hot on the heels of the first shipment of a fully-integrated system in late September.
Acta's considerable discount seems undeserved given the commercial readiness of its electrolyser products, and the near doubling of AFC shares following Abramovich's recent investment indicates there is interest in the sector. With regular newsflow on commercial progress, we see 20p as a target price for the shares, versus 6p currently.
Rolling out
Published: Jul 18 2012

Acta's revolutionary electrolyser technology is at the core of its mission to bring renewable energy, hydrogen generation and fuel cell technology to the mass market. Their hydrogen generation technology is cost effective and facilitates the hydrogen society through the promotion of a local, in-grid/off-grid hydrogen infrastructure
Newsflow has been encouraging over the past 10 months, with interest from a growing number of fuel cell manufacturers and systems integrators, and from the welding sector. A recent trading update on the partnerships reported good progress being made with each of them
Technology has seen further significant advances: the cost and performance characteristics of their hydrogen generators make them a uniquely compelling solution for commercial fuel cell systems integrators
Acta's market cap, at only GBP 4m, does not reflect the substantial headway made in building a credible pipeline for rolling out its technology
Consumer fuel cell applications
Published: May 08 2012

Acta have developed revolutionary electrolyser technology for the hydrogen infrastructure and are commercialising products that exploit this technology
They have announced today an exclusive agreement to supply its core hydrogen technology to a leader in the commercialisation of hydrogen fuel cell products. The deal has pricing terms for volumes up to 100,000 units per year, but future volumes could readily exceed this level
The product that will initially use Acta's alkaline MEAs is a consumer desktop electrolyser that will be used to recharge hydrogen cartridges used for fuelling fuel cells. The application range could grow significantly across an increasing number of OEMs, to include portable electrical equipment like power tools and generators
This is a very exciting development: an application that plays to the strengths of Acta's technology, and with the high volumes associated with the global consumer mass market
On solid ground
Published: Mar 07 2012

Acta have developed revolutionary electrolyser technology for the hydrogen infrastructure and are commercialising products that exploit this technology
Today Acta have announced, subject to admission of the new shares onto AiM, a placing of 50.8m new shares at 4p. This raises the Company GBP 2m before expenses, and resolves the recent financial uncertainty
The recent commercial partnership with Heliocentris Energy Solutions  included an undertaking to invest in a fund-raise. Given the strong response by both new and existing institutional investors, Acta's partner has made the indicated investment
As a result of this placement, Acta can now concentrate on accelerating the market adoption of its products and the operational implementation of its growth strategy
An expanding universe
Published: Feb 28 2012

Acta have developed revolutionary electrolyser technology for the hydrogen infrastructure and are commercialising products that exploit this technology
Encouragingly, the company announced this morning that it had entered a strategic commercial partnership with Heliocentris Energy Solutions AG, who specialise in autonomous energy supply and energy efficiency solutions with the aim of replacing diesel generators with zero-emission products
There is a solid demand for Acta's products in the educational business of Heliocentris which is likely to materialise in the near-term. Heliocentris provides electrolysers and fuel cell systems to universities and research institutions worldwide through its Didactic business, and Acta can be expected to participate in this activity
A key part of the agreement is an investment of EUR 250k by Heliocentris in any equity fundraising by Acta of over GBP 1.8m, with Heliocentris having indicated an investment price of 6p. The fundraising, subject to shareholders' approval at the EGM to be held on 1 March 2012, is to finance Acta's current commercial expansion
The recent agreement with Horizon (10 January 2012) and today's agreement with Heliocentris are strong international endorsements of Acta's technology and the conditional investment of EUR 250k  again points to the perceived sustainable competitive advantage that the company sees in Acta's technology, and in maintaining a long-term commercial relationship
On the Horizon
Published: Jan 10 2012

Acta have developed revolutionary electrolyser technology for the hydrogen infrastructure and are commercialising products that exploit this technology. 
This month Acta signed a Letter of Intent with Horizon Fuel cell Technologies (Singapore) for the evaluation, development and production of electrolyser systems incorporatingActa's technology.
Under this new agreement Acta has sold an EL100 electrolyser to Horizon for evaluation, and will additionally supply Horizon with AES100 electrolyser stacks and associated components to support the evaluation programme. The evaluation process is expected to be concluded in Q1 2012, and provided this proves successful, Horizon intends to incorporate Acta's stacks into its electrolyser products.
Acta has released a series of positive announcements in recent weeks, confirming that its focus on its hydrogen technology is bearing fruit.
2011
Light Electric Vehicle Refuelling System
Published: Dec 14 2011

Acta have developed revolutionary electrolyser technology for the hydrogen infrastructure and are commercialising products that exploit this technology. 
Today they have announced an Agreement with Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies Ltd for the development and supply of hydrogen refuelling stations based on Acta's hydrogen generating technology for fuelling 4-wheeled light electric vehicles (LEVs) and fuel cell scooters
Using hydrogen storage canisters, ZES fuel cell scooters have a maximum speed of up to 60 km/hr and a 50-90km driving range on each fuel charge. Refuelling by swapping canisters takes less than one minute
Based upon the size of stack units to be purchased and the current product pricing, Acta estimates the minimum purchase commitment to have a revenue value of 700,000 to 900,000 during 2012 through to the end of 2013, with strongly positive gross margins
Hot on the heels of the CBIL announcement earlier this week, Acta's focus this year on its hydrogen technology is bearing fruit, with more deals expected
Welding systems: new market opens up
Published: Dec 12 2011

Acta have developed revolutionary catalyst technology for the hydrogen infrastructure and are commercialising products that exploit this technology. 
There has been progress in low cost hydrogen generation, and the prototype PUREFlame 300 welding system was introduced as opening up new opportunities. This is borne out in today's RNS re the signing of an Agreement with Chalumeaux et Bruleurs Industriel Lefevre S.A. (CBIL) for the development and supply of portable welding equipment based on Acta's oxygen-hydrogen generator stack technology
If the selling price of Acta's stack for the industrial and professional equipment is between £600 - £700 in volume, and a lower price for the DIY equipment (although the volumes here are expected to be much higher), then expected revenue for Acta from the industrial and professional markets in France alone in 2014 is thus c. Euro 1m
We believe that this is a significant opportunity for Acta in France, Belgium and Luxemburg, and will become larger should Acta succeed in finding similar partners and distributors in the major European countries, achieving a profitable, Euro multi-million scale of business
Powered by Hydrogen
Published: Nov 21 2011

Acta have developed revolutionary catalyst technology for the hydrogen infrastructure, and through its Acta Energy division is commercialising products that exploit this technology. 
ITM Power's publication of its alkaline electrolyser results on 9 November 2011 brought investors' attention back to hydrogen, and the area of low cost generation (ie, without the use of precious metal catalysts) saw the share prices of both ITM Power and Acta increase dramatically.
Recently ACTA announced the shipment of the  first 500 litre/hour hydrogen generator electrolyser stack to a customer, after successfully completing the product development and testing of this larger stack unit based on its award-winning EL100 (100litre/hour) technology.
Broadening the commercial application range of its alkaline stack membrane technology, ACTA today announced a high performance, low cost oxygen-hydrogen generator for use in flame torch welding, soldering and brazing.
Stacking up
Published: Sep 26 2011

Acta have developed revolutionary catalyst technology for the hydrogen infrastructure, and through its Acta Energy division is commercialising products that exploit this technology

Results for the half-year included revenues of 5.9m (H1 2010: 146k), a 31% reduction in operating loss to 1.6m from 2.4m in the previous year.

Given the current uncertainty in timing of the solar PV consents, it is not feasible to make any forecasts. However, the focus of resources on the core hydrogen product appears to be bearing positive results which should impact 2012 and beyond. Given that this development was to have been supported by the sale of consents, Acta is looking at additional sources of expansion finance for its production facilities.

Focusing on the stack
Published: Jul 27 2011

Today's announcement says that Acta is focusing on its core hydrogen infrastructure products in the wake of the Italian solar feed-in-tariff imbroglio, and its 1m3 stack and electrolyser units poised for commercial delivery commencing in Q4 2011 and a significant ramp up of volume to follow in 2012.

The turmoil and lack of clarity in the Italian solar market over the revised FIT regime that hit the market in March this year continues to cast a shadow over the sector. Italy passed Conto Energia IV in May 2011, under which FITs will be reduced on a monthly basis until the end of 2012, effective from 1 June 2011.

In terms of the core product focus, a concerted global marketing push is expected to provide a good assessment in Q3 2011 of likely order volumes. The response to the hydrogen products has been good, and at higher-than-expected pricing, and capacity is being expanded to meet expected volumes

Although there is uncertainty over the future value of the PV business, Acta's core product technology is set for high volume growth, and the current market capitalization does not fully reflect the potential of this business.

Parting clouds?
Published: Mar 29 2011

The recent turmoil in the Italian solar PV market has, as Acta indicated, resulted in a revenue reduction of 3.4m to the year to 31 December 2010 accounts. This amount, arising from a conditional consent sale to SPF completed in December 2010, and other project consents that were approved during 2010 and sold for 2.45 million in December 2010, represents cash that has been received by the company, but not yet recognised as revenue

Sources close to the discussions indicate modest reductions from the previous tariffs in the period up to 31 August 2011, but with a likelihood that the tariffs in the 31 August 2011 to 31 December 2011 will be unchanged, with the rates modestly favouring roof-top installations.

Acta's results report showed other activities moving forward encouragingly, with solid progress in the commercialisation of AcataEnergy's low cost hydrogen generators and fuel cell power generators, and exciting developments in diesel enrichment, both from water and ethanol (the JPA with Nelson Piquet, a majority shareholder with Qualcom Inc of AutoTrac SA, the Brazilian truck fleet service company).

We await the expected announcement of the new regulations from the Italian government, and will update our forecasts and valuation in the light of these
Mind the Cap
Published: Mar 03 2011

Much rumoured review on Italian PV market may not be as severe as feared

Reports of new legislation by June to address new incentive scheme

The old scheme already scheduled tariffs to fall in coming months

Given longer term national objectives on meeting renewable energy targets we are not changing 2011 financial estimates and long term fair value targets
Stake placed
Published: Feb 15 2011

Acta have developed revolutionary catalyst technology for the hydrogen infrastructure, and through its Acta Energy division is commercialising products that exploit this technology.

Following the termination of an exclusive distribution agreement by mutual consent in March 2010, Sumitomo Corporation has divested its stake in Acta. In July 2007, Sumitomo, Acta's Asian marketing partner at the time, entered into a strategic relationship with Acta and acquired a disclosable holding. At that time Acta's business focus was on research and development of components for hydrolysers, catalysts and fuel cells; they have of course over the last twelve months made substantial progress in the development and launch of end-user products and also in building a successful Solar PV division.

As we noted yesterday following their Trading Update and announcements of further contracts and joint ventures in the last week, the Group is making good progress in all units and we maintain a 120p fair value target share price.
Confident trading update
Published: Feb 14 2011

ACTA's trading statement for the year to 31 December 2010 reflects continued progress across all its business activities, with strong indications of a significant upscaling of the business to come in 2012.

ACTA's commercialisation strategy appears to be gaining significant traction. We maintain our forecasts and price target for the time-being, but positive newsflow over the coming months on the solar PV and electrolyser activities could see upwards revision of forecasts for 2012 and beyond.

2010
Shines on
Published: Dec 21 2010

 Acta's Italian pipeline of identified PV projects through to consent has increased to 41.6MW, a 68% rise on the 24.7MW of projects announced by the company in September 2010. A total of 12.0 MW of this pipeline has now received approval, which includes the 3.9 MW with conditional approval announced on 20 December 2010. This pipeline has a potential consent-only sales value of 12.5m.

The short-term slippage of Acta's EPC contracts is strongly counterbalanced by the rapid development of the PV portfolio, the approval of more consents and the sale of authorisations, which point to a successful execution of strategy.

We maintain our share price target of 120p.
Solar Flares
Published: Sep 28 2010

Acta's interim results for the six months to 30 June 2010 were accompanied with the announcement of a £3.0m fundraising and an agreement to acquire certain agreements, applications and authorizations for the installation of photovoltaic plants from Sun Global Service S.r.l., an engineering consultancy.

Acta's move into solar is rapidly generating results, and while still at a relatively early stage, they are boosting the company's performance and facilitating the roll out of the hydrogen products. With 2011E eps of 11.5p and 2012E eps of 21.4p, our upgraded target price of 120p is conservative.

Commercial progress
Published: Jul 20 2010

Further developments underpin coming years' forecasts

June saw a Framework Agreement for 10.6 MW

Today's contract with Girelli Bruni is significant as it combines solar power with Acta's hydrogen products

Despite excellent share performance our 93p / share fair value is still well  above current levels

Photovoltaic contract update
Published: Jun 02 2010

Acta has developed revolutionary catalyst technology

Today they have announced a significant extension to their PV contract with SPF Energy: targeting 10.6MW with total value over 32m

PV is highly complimentary with Acta's hydrogen generator technology

Commercialisation is gathering pace, but is not yet reflected in the share price despite recent gains: peer comparison suggests fair value (93p) of at least double current share price (40p) achievable in time
Commercialisation at hand
Published: Apr 22 2010

Revolutionary technology for hydrogen infrastructure

Cost effective product range

Large potential but modest rating and undervalued market cap