Los Angeles, CA — Blue Sphere Corp. (OTCQB: BLSP), a company in the cleantech sector which develops waste-to-energy and other renewable energy projects has been attracting the attention of investors and media as they ramp up their innovative projects in the U.S. The Company aspires to become a key player in the global waste-to-energy and renewable energy markets and CEO Shlomi Palas, took time to answer questions about his firm.
Q: Briefly explain to investors who may not be familiar with Blue Sphere, what your company does and why an investment in your company is a good opportunity right now?
Shlomi Palas, CEO of Blue Sphere: Blue Sphere develop-build and operate facilities which use organic waste to produce clean energy. Blue Sphere is positioned in a multibillion arena which is currently serviced by very few and small scale competitors. The endless supply of waste, which we call “the new oil fields”, the new strict Federal and State legislation to divert organic waste from land fields, the already in force legislation to substitute fossil energy with renewable energy, the Federal and State incentives for the activities above, all these tectonic movements are the power behind Blue Sphere raison d’être. Blue sphere has an objective of building a portfolio of 60 Mw/h high yield assets with IRR greater than 15% with-in the next 5 years.
Our projects have multiple sources of 15-20 years secured revenues including power purchase agreements from tier 1 electricity companies in the US.
If you understand the new immense business that is developing, you might want to consider investing in it, either in Blue Sphere or in our competition. We believe we are the best.
Q: What is anaerobic digestion and how big is this technology in other parts of the world? Do you think it will catch on in the U.S. and why?
Shlomi Palas, CEO of Blue Sphere: Anaerobic Digestion is a well established and proven technology, which has been perfected along the years, to extract from organic waste the methane gas, in a relative speedy way.
The methane gas which has been extracted out of the organic waste is being injected into generators which are being used to produce electricity which is then supplied to the grid.
There are about 8000 facilities in Europe and more in other parts of the world. In the US there are only several hundred small ones mainly for manure.
Anaerobic digestion is the optimal solution for many types of organic waste management and production of different energy sources (heat, steam, gas and electricity).
We have no doubt that in the future there will be thousand of AD projects in the US. For a more detailed answer just have a look at what the relevant US authorities say.
Q: Briefly tell us about the projects you currently have in development and Blue Sphere’s roll? When will they be ready for ground breaking? When will they be up and running?
Shlomi Palas, CEO of Blue Sphere: Blue Sphere is in very advance stages of 2 immediate large projects in the U.S. The first project is a 5.2 Mw/h project in NC and the second one of 3.2 Mw/h in RI. Both projects are expected to start construction this year and will start producing energy in Q3-Q4 2014. We are developing additional projects in the US, with a focus on the North East side of the country where the legislation is supportive of such projects. We expect these projects to start construction in 2014.
Q: What kind of revenue streams these projects will generate? What are the financials expected from these projects, revenues and cash flow? What will be Blue Sphere’s ownership in the projects?
Shlomi Palas, CEO of Blue Sphere: Each one of these projects has 4 revenues sources: Tipping fee, Feed in Tariff, Carbon Credit and Compost. Blue Sphere is going to manage these projects and generate direct revenues for its management services.
The projects are expected to generate profits in the range of $1.5m to $3m per year, depending of the specific site and size of the project. Blue Sphere is expected to own 30%-60% from each one of these projects.
Q: You have several larger companies partnered with you and financing your projects, why are they interested in working with Blue Sphere?
Shlomi Palas, CEO of Blue Sphere: The companies we partnered with are very familiar with the Anaerobic Digester market and the huge potential of this business. They want to contribute to a better environment for us and the generations to come, this is truly important for them. Not less important, they believe as we do that the business potential is huge and that we are best positioned to benefit from it. They believe in our capability to develop the business, bring the right solution, tailor the required components for each of these projects, make these projects happen and generate good business for them.
Q: Give us the biggest risk you see in the company and what might be done to mitigate it.
Shlomi Palas, CEO of Blue Sphere: What we do is a complicated task, people and companies identify with the changes, want to contribute, but it is all new. There are many parameters that have to be taken care of and you need to have the ability to adjust quickly and overcome hurdles. We have a great team and we work hard and we believe nothing will stop us. So far we have proven it.
Q: What will it take for you to be able to establish yourself as a leader in your space?
Shlomi Palas, CEO of Blue Sphere: We have identified a couple of good companies in the US which do Anaerobic Digesters. They are not big and they have a slightly different approach to the business. Our projects are on a substantially larger scale and address mainly the organic food waste segment which represents the largest potential. The potential is too big anyway for all of us right now. We truly wish our competitors success and we hope to lead the pack.
Q: Are there any upcoming catalysts that investors should be looking forward to? If so, what are they?
Shlomi Palas, CEO of Blue Sphere: The changing regulation regarding the treatment of organic waste and the shutdown of landfill in different states in the US will push the need for alternative solution for organic waste which is a big driver for our industry.
Q: Would you say that you are “on time” or “ahead of schedule” when it comes to where the company is positioned today?
Shlomi Palas, CEO of Blue Sphere: The legal infrastructure, incentives and direction of the market are all set. We need to do the hard work of integrating it all together. The whole infrastructure for business in this field is ready but it is not easy to integrate the many components that create a project. It is a rare case that changes are so big and so fast and businesses are not ready yet to exploit it. But we are.