First published in Cleantech magazine, Volume 6 Issue 6 (December 2012)
by John O'Brien, Australian Cleantech
Clean TeQ Holdings (Clean TeQ) was founded in 1990 to provide air pollution control solutions, primarily using biotechnology-based processes. Since then, Clean TeQ has successfully invested in research and development to expand and develop its technology base, which now also includes separation and purification technologies for water and metals recovery.
The company's technologies are provided in three areas: water, air and mining.Clean TeQ's water technologies focus on desalination of brackish water for beneficial re-use whilst avoiding the issues of scaling and fouling often associated with traditional membrane technology. The company’s primary technology uses Continuous Ionic Filtration (CIF), which can be likened to the continuous sand filtration process where particles are physically removed by the sand filter bed. In the CIF process, charged resins are used instead of sand and the process continuously removes dissolved ions. Continuous movement of resin and solution in countercurrent operation means the CIF process is able to operate on dirty water feed streams and has a higher removal efficiency than conventional systems.
In February 2012, Clean TeQ took a significant step forward for its water business with the establishment of Associated Water, a 50/50 joint venture (JV) company with Tokyo-based Nippon Gas Co., Ltd (TSE: 8174). Nippon Gas became a cornerstone shareholder (approximately 10%) in Clean TeQ. The JV is providing water desalination facilities and services in the Australian coal seam gas industry using the CIF process. In August the JV installed its first joint project in Queensland.
The air purification division has been Clean TeQ's core operation since its inception. The business provides air purification and odour elimination solutions to customers, including municipal and statutory authorities that manage sewerage treatment plants, and industrial companies involved in activities such as food processing, steel manufacturing, motor vehicle manufacturing and chemical processing.
Clean TeQ Mining provides ion exchange process design and the delivery of turnkey processing facilities. It offers a range of market leading processing technologies and resins for uranium, gold, base metal, rare earth and speciality metals. The base of Clean TeQ's IP is the Clean-iXÂ® technology platform, which uses continuous countercurrent ion exchange for the extraction and purification of a range of elements.
Clean TeQ’s results for the twelve months to June 2012 showed revenues of A$14.2 million and an EBITDA of A$1.6 million, a significant improvement on the previous year's loss of A$5.3 million. Net operating cash flow in the twelve months to June 2012 was a negative A$0.4 million driven by supplier payments. The company had cash reserves of A$1.5 million at 30 June 2012.
On 13 December 2012 the company’s share price was 15 cents, a signifi cant improvement from the 3 cents of May 2011, giving a market capitalisation of A$522 million.