Armstrong have piloted a programme to invest its social bond to improve the agricultural yields and incomes for farmers in India. Our ambition has been to increase the yield of farmers by 50% through the installation of solar-powered drip irrigation systems and improved agronomy.
We are delighted to say that we have beaten that target significantly. In the first phase of the roll-out of over 100 systems we have improved farmers yields from an average of 27 tonnes per acre to 50 tonnes per acre. This represents an increase in the gross income of the farmers of 85%.
When considered on a net income basis the impact is even greater:
– By changing farming techniques and persuading the farmers to increase the gap between the rows of sugar cane, we are actually reducing the cost of their seed by circa 38%.
– by providing support in how to use fertilisers, we have reduced the fertiliser cost by 50%
Our analysis shows that, on a net basis, these farmers have earned circa Rs 71,375 (£830) per acre, compared with Rs 16,750 (£195) per acre that they were previously earning. This represents an increase in their net incomes of 326%. Given that these increases in yield are being driven by improved farming techniques rather than through increased use of fertilisers, we believe that these benefits can be delivered over the long-term, rather than just once.
In summary, our tests indicate that our social programme is delivering, and exceeding the objectives that we set out for it and we look forward to expanding this path-finding project to deliver social and economic change to some of the poorest farmers in the world.
Armstrong Energy is pleased to announce that its subsidiary, Armstrong Chemicals Limited, has formed a Joint Venture with Licella for the exclusive global rights to deploy their patented technology to convert waste plastics into higher value fuels and chemicals. The venture marks a year of extensive and successful of testing on Licella’s large scale pilot plant based in NSW, Australia.
Dr Steve Mahon, CEO of Armstrong Energy commented, “This marks another strategic venture for us to offer our investors access to proprietary dealflow in a highly attractive market.”
Plastics are produced from a highly refined product with 6% of global oil and gas production used annually in the production of plastics, but of the 311 million tonnes of plastics produced per year only 5% is recycled. 95% is lost after a short first use, equating to lost value of US$80-100 billion per year. In the UK, over 2.5 million tonnes of plastics goes to landfill every year. We know that sorting plastics to enable them to be recycled is both challenging and expensive. End of life Plastic includes all the remnants of various mixed plastics and paper and labelling that is left post-recovery of the recyclable components. This mixed material, which is a costly waste to dispose of, can be processed into high value fuels and chemicals using our unique technology that has been developed by Licella over 10 years and with over $50 million spent on development. Steve added “We are excited to now work with our licensees to divert this waste from landfill and deliver superior investor returns.”
Tourian Renewables Limited, a company advised by Armstrong Energy, is pleased to announce it has secured the rights to build its commercial waste upgrading plant having signed a sub-license from Armstrong Chemicals Limited. The Tourian plant is scheduled to be operational in 2018 and will be located on the Wilton International site in the North East of England. It will be capable of upgrading up to 20,000 tonnes of End of Life Plastic to a high value middle distillate fuel.
Gary Toomey, Managing Director of Tourian, commented, “The signing of the sub-license is a significant milestone for Tourian and now solidifies its investment into Teesside.” He added, “In developing this Cat-HTR facility we will be reducing plastic waste currently being sent to landfill while creating over 30 new jobs in the region.”
Tourian Renewables Limited, a Company advised by Armstrong Energy, is pleased to announce it has retained the professional engineering services of GHD to conduct Front End Engineering Design for the 20,000t Cat-HTR plant to be located at the Wilton International site in the North East of England.
Andrew Buchanan, Project Director of Tourian, commented, “We are delighted to retain the services of GHD who are a world leading engineering company, and, with the support of their engineering team, we hope to accelerate our current timeline for commercial operation.” Gary Toomey, Managing Director of Tourian added “The appointment of GHD Newcastle further demonstrates our commitment to the region as we utilise the very best regionally-available, world class professional services.”