Thursday, 19 May 2016

New Earth companies in the liquidiser!


Two thirds of the companies which form New Earth Solutions Group - the Dorset-based waste treatment specialists selected as contractors by Borders councillors - are either entering liquidation, have been dissolved or are being struck off the companies register.

Earlier this month it was revealed by the offshore finance group which controls and is supposed to fund NES that efforts were continuing to restructure the ailing businesses after lenders rejected a business plan.

Now, research of company records shows 15 of the 23 separate firms which make up NES Group Ltd. are set to disappear.

They include the organisations which previously owned and operated the malfunctioning Avonmouth energy recovery facility [ERF] near Bristol, a "pioneering" form of waste management facility which was to have provided a scaled down template for a similar £21 million project for Scottish Borders Council.

None of the NES companies have submitted annual accounts in each of the last two years, and the last financial records posted at Companies House covered the 12 months up to January 2014. The deadline for publication has been pushed back on two separate occasions, an unusual occurrence in the business world.

As previously reported here, a large delegation of chief officers and senior councillors from SBC visited the Avonmouth plant in October 2014 and appear to have been impressed by the misfiring technology.

Councillor David Paterson, the council's executive member for environmental services, told online magazine after the visit that the Galashiels plant would implement the technology on a ‘smaller-scale’ than in Avonmouth,.
Mr. Paterson said that the live demonstration of the technology had been ‘very informative’ and an ‘insight into what we could have in the Borders'.
Less than four months later the council abandoned the project, tore up their 24-year contract with NES and blandly wrote off the £2.4 million spent on the fruitless escapade.
New Earth Energy Facilities Management Ltd [NEEFM], the company which owned Avonmouth ERF and New Earth Energy (Avonmouth) Ltd, the plant operators, both indicated to Companies House on April 27 2016 that they were heading into members voluntary liquidation.
Last year, with the processing centre failing to meet production targets and requiring a multi-million pounds injection of cash to tackle a range of negative issues and technological glitches, NES offloaded the pyrolysis and gasification burner to principal lender Macquarie Bank at "virtually no cost".
NEEFM's last accounts showed an operational loss for the year to 31/1/2014 of £2.347 million with shareholder loans standing at £49 million. At the same time New Earth Energy (Avonmouth) Ltd posted an annual deficit of £548,673 with an amount owed to group undertakings given as £3.88 million.
All of the companies now facing 'the chop' have either been loss making or are dormant businesses which have not been trading. Those entities which did conduct business reported sizeable outstanding debts to various lenders including the Isle of Man-based New Earth Recycling & Renewables [Infrastructure] PLC, the fund which was supposed to finance the Borders project at Easter Langlee.
Yet ironically one of the few active companies left in the NES Group is New Earth Solutions (Scottish Borders) Ltd., the so-called special vehicle set up in 2011 to deliver the state-of-the-art waste treatment plant for SBC. Unfortunately the technology and the funder both turned out to be not fit for purpose.
The last annual accounts for New Earth Solutions (Scottish Borders) includes an entry 'construction work in progress £1.136 million' alongside an identical sum described as 'shareholder loans'. Given that not a brick was laid at Easter Langlee, does this figure represent the financial loss incurred by NES as a result of the contract's failure?

Here is the list of NES companies with no future and, where available, their operating performance in the year ended January 31 2014:

NES Management Services LLP: members voluntary liquidation: net debt £1.170 million.
New Earth Solutions Ltd. - application to strike the company off the register 22/4/2016.
NES (Kent) Ltd. - application to strike the company off the register 22/4/2016. Loss £1.053 million.
NES (Canford) Ltd. - application to strike the company off the register 29/3/2016.Loss £1.223 million.
NES (Bristol) Ltd.- application to strike the company off the register 22/4/2016. Dormant company.
NES (Leicestershire) Ltd. - application to strike the company off the register 22/4/2016. Dormant.
NES (Gloucestershire) Ltd. - application to strike the company off the register 22/4/2016. Loss £114,450.
New Earth Energy Ltd. - Members voluntary liquidation 27/4/2016. Holding company.
New Earth Energy Management Services LLP - members voluntary liquidation 27/4/2016.
New Earth Solutions (Willow) Ltd. - members voluntary liquidation 27/4/2016. loss £844,643.
New Earth Solutions (Bristol) Ltd. - members voluntary liquidation 27/4/2016. Not trading.
New Earth Energy Facilities Management Ltd. - members voluntary liquidation 27/4/2016. Loss £2.347 million.
New Earth Energy (Canford) Ltd. - dissolved 15/3/2016. Did not trade.
New Earth Energy (Avonmouth) Ltd - members voluntary liquidation 27/4/2016. Loss £548,673.
Scottish Borders District Heating Company - dissolved May 2016. Dormant.

No comments:

Post a Comment