Maple Energy MPLE COMPANY UPDATE

  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

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