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Annica targets Q1 2019 for waste tyre acquisition, Q4 2018 for solar-hydrogen project

CATALIST-listed Annica Holdings is targeting to complete its 25.79 per cent acquisition of a waste tyre pyrolysis business by the first quarter of 2019, and to roll out a pilot solar and hydrogen project in Sarawak, Malaysia, by the fourth quarter of this year, the company said on Monday in response to queries by the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Annica said that the completion of its acquisition of shares in Green Pluslink Sdn Bhd (GPL) remains pending the target's ability to complete its own acquisition of 15 production lines and a plant in Perak. That Perak deal is still in the process of financial and operational due diligence, and a sale and purchase agreement has not been entered into. Annica is taking "a cautious stance" to commit only when that deal is done, the company said.

The solar and hydrogen project has been delayed largely due to manufacturing issues, but is now in the final assembly stage, Annica said. About 60 per cent of the production costs for the project have been paid to a Chinese manufacturer, although the cost price of the project's key product is commercially sensitive information that cannot be disclosed, the company said. The timeline for its pilot project is also subject to suitable climate conditions, as the year-end climate conditions in Sarawak can be challenging.

"There were certain teething issues in the integration of the fuel cells with the overall power module system, which the manufacturer has to rectify. The process is currently ongoing and is expected to be resolved in the coming weeks," Annica said.

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The group had announced in July a proposed disposal of its GPE Power Systems unit to GPE executive director Chong Shin Mun for S$2 million.

In response to SGX, Annica said that S$1 million will be used for the pilot project and the waste tyre pyrolysis project. Another S$500,000 will be utilised for new projects identified under the renewable sector in the future, and the rest for working capital purposes related to the sale of GPE. 

The firm added that it does not have a clear timeline for the waste tyre pyrolysis project, and that allocated funds may be moved to other projects identified, should the need arise.

Shares in Annica last traded at 0.1 Singapore cent apiece on Friday. 

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