By: Philippine Resources May 20, 2024

Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) (PSE: NIKL) announced its unaudited financial and operating results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2024, with an attributable net income (net of minority interest) of P202 million, lower than the P970 million reported during the same period last year.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to P1.05 billion against P2.21 billion in the prior year.

Revenues from ore sales declined by 41 percent to P2.09 billion from P3.55 billion last year, due to lower ore prices resulting from the oversupply situation faced by the nickel industry. The Company’s operating mines sold a combined 2.61 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore during the period, slightly higher than last year’s 2.39 million WMT.

The weighted average nickel ore sales price during the period decreased by 48% percent to $13.84 per WMT against $26.80 per WMT in the same period last year. The company realized P56.13 per US dollar from these nickel ore sales, a 2 percent increase from P54.80 last year.

Breaking down the ore sales, the Company exported 0.61 million WMT of saprolite ore at the average price of $25.57 per WMT during the period from 0.60 million WMT at $50.37 per WMT in the same period last year.

Likewise, the Company delivered 2 million WMT of limonite ore to the Coral Bay and Taganito high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) plants, the prices of which are linked to the London Metal Exchange (LME) and realized an average price of $7.53 per pound of payable nickel equivalent to $10.27 per WMT. This compares to 1.79 million WMT at $11.98 per pound equivalent to $18.84 per WMT last year.

NAC also recognized losses from its combined equity share in investments in the two HPAL plants in the amount of P193.90 million against P252.12 million income in the prior year.

Renewable Energy

For the First Quarter of 2024, Emerging Power, Inc.’s (EPI) subsidiary, Jobin SQM, Inc. (JSI) increased generation by 19.3 percent to 44,881-megawatt hours due to a significant increase in overcall capacity. Last February 28, 2024, JSI successfully opened an additional 72-MWp in Sta. Rita, Subic, thereby expanding capacity to 172-MWp.

Higher revenues and effective cost management kept EBITDA margin at 79 percent and resulted in a 4-percent increase in EBITDA to P160 million.

EPI is focused on expanding its business portfolio

Pre-development activities on Northern Palawan Power Generation Corporation’s solar project in Subic-Cawag are almost complete with construction of the proposed 145-MWp plant expected to begin by the third quarter of this year and commercial operations scheduled to start by fourth quarter of 2025.

In addition, Greenlight Renewables Holdings, Inc., EPI’s joint venture with Shell Overseas Investments B.V., is implementing its solar power project in Leyte, with an initial 120-MWp slated to be completed by the first quarter of 2025.

As to the modular-type geothermal project of EPI’s affiliate, Biliran Geothermal, Inc., the initial 2-MW turbines have been installed and energization activities are ongoing. This paves the way for the next phase of the 10-MW capacity expansion, with the goal of attaining full capacity of 50-MW in the medium term.

“The long-term prospects for the nickel industry remain positive with the market’s growing preference for nickel in the stainless steel and EV battery industries. As the global energy transition gains momentum, we expect the nickel oversupply to eventually turn into a deficit and thereafter trigger a resurgence in nickel prices. Furthermore, we remain on track to achieve our twin goals of becoming a premiere ESG investment and a Top 25 company in the Philippine Stock Exchange by 2025,” said NAC President and CEO Martin Antonio G. Zamora.

“Our three new nickel projects, namely Dinapigue, Bulanjao, and Manicani, will set the stage for growth in our operations. Together, they are poised to significantly bolster our nickel ore sales volumes in the coming years. Also, our diversification into renewable energy is proceeding according to plan. With EPI solar capacity now at 172-MWp and almost 400-MWp in the immediate pipeline, our role as stewards of our country’s natural resources takes on even greater significance,” he added.


Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange

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