Carnegie Clean Energy shareholders use AGM to quiz wave power company on poor performance
Carnegie Clean Energy wants to build a wave farm at Sand Patch outside Albany. (ABC News: Benjamin Gubana)
Long-suffering shareholders in embattled wave power company Carnegie Clean Energy have questioned the company’s ability to remain afloat.
- Shareholders fear for the future of Carnegie and its planned wave energy farm
- The company concedes it has failed to live up to shareholder expectations
- A plan to sell a stake in its solar microgrid company has also fallen over
Carnegie’s annual general meeting in Fremantle on Friday was the first chance for shareholders to quiz management about the company’s poor financial performance.
One shareholder, Greg Benjamin, said he had seen the value of his shares plummet.
“I’ve been coming along to these shareholder meetings now for more than 10 years,” he said.
“We always have a good story, there’s a lot of cause for optimism about wave energy, but we just haven’t seen any results.”
Carnegie shareholder Greg Benjamin is disappointed in the company’s performance. (ABC News: Kathryn Diss.)
Carnegie concedes shareholders let down
In his address, chairman Terry Stinson conceded the company had failed its shareholders.
“Commercially, it would be an understatement to say that Carnegie failed to deliver on expectations,” he told the gathering.
Terry Stinson says budget blowouts and project delays have hurt Carnegie. (ABC News: Eliza Borrello)
“On $10 million in revenue, the company lost $63 million, including a $34.9 million write-down of intangibles.
“The losses continue into this year, however not at the same magnitude.”
Mr Stinson blamed the financial problems on budget blowouts, project delays and intense competition in the solar power industry.
But he said the company planned to turnaround its financial performance by focusing on its core business of wave energy.
Sale of solar subsidiary off
Investors also learned on Friday that Carnegie’s plan to sell a majority stake in its solar subsidiary, Energy Made Clean, at a 75 per cent loss to Sydney-based TAG Pacific Limited had fallen over.
Carnegie says the prospective buyer of its solar subsidiary could not raise $4 million. (ABC News: Josh Bavas)
“They needed to raise $4 million for the condition precedent on the deal and they weren’t able to do that,” Carnegie’s new chief executive Jonathan Fievez said.
“They have started the rights issue, but their commitments won’t come in until sometime in the future, I think mid-December, so there’s some uncertainty around whether they can raise that amount.”
Some shareholders raised their concerns about Carnegie’s decision in 2016 to buy Energy Made Clean.
As a result of its financial turmoil, Carnegie has been put on notice by the WA Government to show it can fund its $26 million share of a wave energy project in Albany by mid-February.
At least one shareholder at the AGM expressed concern about whether the company would be able to meet that deadline.