Maple Energy (MPLE) - COMPANY UPDATE RNS Number : 9457R Maple Energy plc 26 November 2012 26 November 2012 MAPLE ENERGY PLC ("Maple" or the "Company") COMPANY UPDATE Maple Energy plc (AIM: MPLE; LIMA: MPLE), an integrated energy company with assets in Peru, announces today various updates regarding its business and operations. Ethanol Business · The Ethanol Plant is nearing the end of its "ramp up" period. During this period of the initial phase of operations of the Ethanol Plant, plant availability has been lower than the expected availability over the long term primarily due to higher levels of unplanned maintenance. Such lower plant availability is not unusual during the start-up and initial operations of a new plant facility of this type. The Company expects to complete the "ramp up" period by the end of 2012 and achieve a level of unplanned maintenance in the range of industry standards for an ethanol plant operating under similar conditions. More recently Ethanol Plant availability has increased, and during the 60-day period ended 19 November 2012, the plant has been available to process sugar cane and produce ethanol for approximately 79% of the time on average. The approximate 21% of downtime during this period has resulted from a combination of both planned and unplanned maintenance activities. · As of 19 November 2012, a total of approximately 468,000 gross tonnes of sugar cane have been harvested and processed at the Ethanol Plant since it began processing sugar cane at the end of March 2012. From this total processed volume, a total of approximately 423,000 net tonnes have been processed during this time. This net amount of processed sugar cane excludes sugar cane "trash", which primarily consists of green and dry leaves of the sugar cane that are ultimately used as fuel to generate electricity. · Maple currently expects to harvest and process a total of approximately 600,000 gross tonnes (approximately 540,000 net tonnes) of sugar cane from its plantation by the end of 2012. The processing of this sugar cane is currently expected to result in the production of approximately 43,400 cubic metres (approximately 11.5 million gallons) of fuel-grade ethanol during 2012. · As of 19 November 2012, approximately 33,000 cubic metres (approximately 8.8 million gallons) of fuel-grade ethanol have been produced at the Ethanol Plant resulting in an average ethanol yield of approximately 79.3 litres (approximately 20.9 gallons) per net tonne of sugar cane processed. The average ethanol yield during the 60-day period ended 19 November 2012 has been approximately 86.6 litres (approximately 22.9 gallons) per net tonne of sugar cane processed. · Maple has sold a total of approximately 8,438 cubic metres (approximately 2.229 million gallons) of ethanol to the local Peruvian market since commencing sales to the Peruvian market in May 2012. · Under the Company's existing sales and distribution agreement, it has completed a total of six export sales of fuel-grade ethanol to Mitsui since commencing exports in August 2012. These sales were for an aggregate volume of approximately 22,140 cubic metres (approximately 5.849 million gallons) of ethanol destined for customers in the European Union. Maple expects to continue exporting a substantial portion of its ethanol production to international markets. · The power generation facilities of the Ethanol Plant are currently supplying substantially all of the electrical energy required for the Ethanol Project's agricultural and industrial operations, and "excess" electricity is being sold to the national power grid. As of 19 November 2012, a total of approximately 29,500 megawatt-hours have been generated at the Ethanol Plant since the facilities commenced the generation of electricity in July 2012. · During the first quarter of 2013, the Company plans to begin to expand the plantation from its current size of approximately 6,532 hectares to a total plantation size of approximately 7,787 hectares to complete the first phase of the Ethanol Project. A significant portion of this 1,255 hectare expansion of the plantation is subject to obtaining certain additional governmental approvals. · In its 28 September 2012 announcement, Maple estimated that its total production costs per gallon of ethanol produced and available at the Ethanol Plant ("Total Production Costs") using its own sugar cane as feedstock should be in the range of approximately US$1.20 to US$1.30 once the Ethanol Plant has completed the "ramp up" period during the initial phase of operations and the first phase of the Company's plantation has been completely developed. This Total Production Costs estimate includes direct production costs comprised of agricultural, industrial, and other direct costs as well as administrative costs. Since the first phase of the plantation is not expected to be completely developed until next year and furthermore Maple expects to continue increasing the efficiency of its ethanol operations during the completion of the first phase expansion of the plantation, the Total Production Costs for 2013 are expected to be approximately 10% higher than the longer term estimate of US$1.20 to US$1.30 per gallon of ethanol produced and available at the Ethanol Plant as stated in the 28 September 2012 announcement. · As a result of the Ethanol Plant's delayed commencement of operations in late March 2012 and the downtime experienced during its initial phase of operations, the age of the sugar cane that is being harvested is greater than previously planned. This has resulted in certain areas of the plantation with cane of an age of more than 18 months, with yields in excess of 200 tonnes (gross) of sugar cane per hectare. Mainly due to the large size and correspondingly high weight of such sugar cane in these areas, the Company has experienced lower than expected average harvesting rates (as measured in tonnes of cane harvested per hour per harvesting machine) with its fleet of mechanical harvesters. In order to increase the amount of cane harvested on a daily basis, Maple plans to purchase additional mechanical harvesters and related harvesting equipment. · The Company continues to be engaged in a dispute with one of its third party providers for the Ethanol Project (the "Provider"), and in 2012 international arbitration proceedings were initiated by the Provider as a result of the dispute. In addition, the Provider is seeking to implement certain interim remedies through the Peruvian court system which may result in an interim escrow deposit by the Company of up to approximately US$3.7 million (which corresponds to certain funds previously received by Maple pursuant to the contract with the Provider) until the matter is resolved. Although no assurance can be given, Maple believes it has meritorious defenses to the claims brought by the Provider, and the Company intends to defend its position vigorously. Hydrocarbon Production, Refining, and Marketing Business · Refinery feedstock averaged approximately 2,032 barrels per day ("bpd") during the nine-month period ended 30 September 2012, compared to 1,977 bpd during the same period in 2011, consisting of natural gasolines supplied by Aguaytia Energy del Peru S.R.L. and crude oil from Maple´s oilfields. · Average daily sales of refined products were 1,994 bpd during the nine-month period ended 30 September 2012, compared to 1,872 bpd during the same period in 2011. · Average daily crude oil production from the Company's oilfields was approximately 456 bpd during the nine-month period ended 30 September 2012, compared to approximately 461 bpd during the same period in 2011. · The primary term of the agreement between Petróleos del Perú S.A. ("Petroperu") and Maple for the lease of the Pucallpa Refinery and Sales Plant ends on 28 March 2014, and Maple has begun discussions with Petroperu regarding the extension of such lease for up to an additional 20 years through March 2034. Under the terms of the existing agreement, the lease may be extended on similar terms and conditions. While no assurance can be given, the Company continues to believe the refinery lease shall be extended. Rex Canon, CEO of Maple Energy, commented today: "We remain pleased with the operating results of our hydrocarbon assets, while we are also improving our significant ethanol business. As Maple completes the ramp up phase of operations at our Ethanol Plant, we remain very excited about the prospects of the ethanol business. We are continuing to improve efficiencies and processes throughout the ethanol business which will further enhance the value of this important business for our shareholders. We look forward to providing an update on our ongoing developments in the coming months." For further information, please contact: Maple Energy plc (+ 51 1 611 4000) Rex W. Canon, Chief Executive Officer, President, and Executive Director Cenkos Securities plc Jon Fitzpatrick +44 20 7397 8900 Ken Fleming +44 131 220 6939 Mirabaud Securities Ltd. (+44 20 7321 2508) Peter Krens Rory Scott Buchanan (+44 20 7466 5000) Mark Edwards Ben Romney Forward-Looking Statements Statements contained in this document, particularly those regarding possible, projected, or assumed future performance and results, including growth outlook, forecasted economics, operations, production, contracting, costs, prices, earnings, returns, and potential growth, are or may include forward looking statements. Such statements relate to future events and expectations and as such involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, market conditions, weather risks, economic and political risks, and other factors discussed in Maple's Admission Document available on the Company's website (www.maple-energy.com). Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or an assurance that Maple's current assumptions and projections are valid. Actual results, actions, and developments may differ materially from those expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements depending on a variety of factors. Furthermore, any forward-looking statements presented are expressed in good faith and are believed to have a reasonable basis as of the date of this release. These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this release, and Maple does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. About Maple Energy and its subsidiaries Maple is an integrated independent energy company, listed in London and Lima, with subsidiary assets and operations in Peru engaging in numerous aspects of the energy industry, including: · The development and operation of an ethanol business; · Exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas; and · Refining, marketing, and distribution of hydrocarbon products. Maple was admitted to AIM on 13 July 2007 and trades under the symbol "MPLE". The Company was also admitted to the Lima Stock Exchange on 21 December 2007 where it trades under the same symbol. Operations Maple's operations are conducted and revenues are generated through its majority-owned subsidiaries. Principal operations consist of the following: · Ethanol Business. Operator and owner of an ethanol business located in the Piura Region on the north coast of Peru; · Oil Production. Operator and holder of 100% working interests in its crude-oil producing properties, Blocks 31-B, 31-D, and 31-E; · Refining, Marketing, and Distribution Operations. Operator of the Pucallpa Refinery and Sales Plant, which has capacity to refine up to (i) 3,400 barrels per day of crude oil producing Residual 5 fuel oil, (ii) 3,000 barrels per day of crude oil producing Residual 6 fuel oil, or (iii) 4,100 barrels per day of natural gasolines. This plant also includes sales and distribution operations in the central Peruvian jungle, central Peruvian highlands, and Lima regions; and · Oil and Gas Exploration. Exploration opportunities through a: - 100% working interest in Block 31-E; and - 33.77% working interest in the Aguaytía Deep Prospect in Block 31-C This information is provided by RNS The company news service from the London Stock Exchange END MSCBBBDBXGDBGDU -0- Nov/26/2012 07:00 GMT
Maple Energy MPLE COMPANY UPDATE
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.