Investing in the Energy Transition: April 2024

May 1, 2024

ETF Performance

Copper was again the standout performer in April, with the Global X Copper Miners ETF rising 7.9%, following a 17.91% increase in March. Clean Tech struggles continue with the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF down 5.4% on the month and testing November 2023 lows.

Check out our full database of Energy Transition ETFs.

Company News: Electric Vehicles

Tesla to layoff 10% of global workforce

April 15th | TSLA

About every five years, we need to reorganize and streamline the company for the next phase of growth.Elon Musk, Tesla CEO

  • The layoffs were announced in an internal company-wide email.
  • Battery development chief Drew Baglino and vice president for public policy Rohan Patel also announced their departures.
  • On April 30th, The Information reported plans for further cuts at Tesla, including over 500 employees in the Supercharger group.

Article: Reuters

EV charging equipment maker Tritium Dcfc files insolvency notice

Photo: Tritium Charging

April 19th| DCFCQ

  • The Australian company sold high-speed EV-charging equipment and operated a large-scale factory in Tennessee.
  • It is unclear whether the company can continue to fulfill remaining orders or service chargers that have already been installed.
  • The company went public via SPAC merger in 2022 at a $2bn valuation.

Read Article: Canary Media

Honda Announces plans for $11 Billion Investment in Canadian EV supply chain

April 25th| HMC

In North America, following the initiative to establish our EV production system capability in the U.S., we will now begin formal discussions toward the establishment of a comprehensive EV value chain here in Canada, with the support of the governments of Canada and Ontario. We will strengthen our EV supply system and capability with an eye toward a future increase in EV demand in North America. –Toshihiro Mibe, Honda CEO

  • The investment includes a stand-alone Honda EV battery plant in Alliston, Ontario.
  • Honda expects that electric vehicle production will begin in 2028. Once fully operational, the EV plant will have a production capacity of 240,000 EVs per year and the EV battery plant will have a capacity of 36 GWh per year.
  • The plans also include a pCAM processing plant with POSCO and a separator plant with Asahi Kasei.

Press Release: Honda Motor

Ford’s EV unit posts $1.3 billion loss in Q1

April 25th| F

Ford Model e revenue was down, as wholesales declined and significant industrywide pricing pressure continued to affect electric vehicles currently on the market. The segment had an EBIT loss of $1.3 billion, with costs that were flat year-over-year. The company expects EV costs to improve going forward, but be offset by top-line pressure. Ford Earnings Release

  • The company lost $132,000 per EV produced.
  • Ford sold 10,000 EVs in the quarter, down 20% YoY.
  • Sales of Ford Blue’s hybrid vehicles were up 36%, on pace for projected full-year 2024 hybrid sales growth of 40%.

Read Article: Reuters

Earnings Release: Ford

BBG: Tesla Soars on Tentative China Approval for Driving System

April 29th | TSLA, BIDU

Tesla agreed to a deal with Chinese search giant Baidu for its mapping and navigation functions, according to several reports on Monday, as CEO Elon Musk met with senior Chinese government officials in a purported push to gain approval for its driver-assistance technology. –Bloomberg

  • Tesla will gain access to Baidu’s mapping and navigation tech to power its Full-Self Driving feature in China.
  • Tesla will be able to use Baidu’s mapping license, a requirement for carmakers to launch self-driving or driver-assist features in China.

Article: Bloomberg

Company News: Green Energy

GE Vernova completes spin-off and begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange

April 2nd | GEV

Today, GE Vernova becomes an independent company singularly focused on accelerating the energy transition to create a more sustainable future. -Scott Strazik, CEO of GE Vernova

  • With an installed base of over 7,000 gas turbines, the world’s largest, approximately 55,000 wind turbines, and leading-edge electrification technology, GE Vernova helps generate approximately 30% of the world’s electricity.
  • Additionally, GE Vernova provided its outlook by 2028 including achieving mid-single digit organic revenue growth, 10% adjusted EBITDA margin, and 90-110% free cash flow conversion.
  • Each holder of record of GE common stock received one share of GE Vernova Inc. common stock for every four shares of GE common stock held on March 19, 2024.

Press Release: GE Vernova

BLM adopts categorical exclusions to expedite geothermal energy permitting

Tungsten Geothermal Power Plant. Photo: BLM.

April 15th

Geothermal energy is one of the technologies that can move our country toward a clean energy future – BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning

  • The categorical exclusions will enable the agency to expedite the review and approval of geothermal exploration proposals.

Press Release: Bureau of Land Management

Prysmian to acquire Encore Wire for $290/share

April 15th | PRY.MI, PRYMY, WIRE

Through this acquisition, Prysmian will grow its North American presence, enhancing its portfolio and geographic mix, while significantly increasing the exposure to secular growth drivers.Massimo Battaini, Prysmian Group designated CEO

  • The deal implies an Enterprise Value of approximately €3.9 billion for Encore Wind.
  • The price represens a multiple of 8.2x EV/2023A EBITDA and 6.3x EV/2023A EBITDA including run rate synergies.

Press Release: Prysmian Group

WSJ: Schneider Electric in talks to acquire Bentley Systems

April 22nd SU.PA, SBGSY, BSY

  • Bentley Systems has a market cap of around $16bn and provides infrastructure engineering software.
  • The acquisition would further Schneider’s “One Software” strategy.

Read Article: Wall Street Journal

Company News: Critical Minerals

MP Materials Awarded $58.5 Million to Advance U.S. Rare Earth Magnet Manufacturing

Photo: MP Materials

April 1st | MP
  • MP Materials began constructing its Fort Worth, Texas, manufacturing facility in April 2022.
  • The company is currently producing magnet precursor materials in a North American pilot facility.
  • It expects to commence commercial production of precursor materials in Fort Worth this summer and finished magnets by late 2025.
  • The Section 48C Advanced Energy Project tax credit allocation was issued by the IRS and U.S. Treasury.

Press Release: MP Materials

Sigma Lithium announces FID to double production to ~500,000tpa

April 1st | SGML

By advancing the Phase 2 construction schedule as planned, Sigma Lithium is in a position to generate cashflow while delivering large quantities of low cost chemical grade lithium concentrate at a critical supply juncture for the lithium market and the battery industry Sigma Lithium CEO Ana Cabral

  • Sigma plans to commission the Phase 2 plant by year-end 2024 and first production is expected in the first quarter of 2025.
  • The Board approved the initiation of construction of a second line of its Greentech Industrial Plant expanding capacity by 250,000t/y, with Capex of $100mm.

Press Release: Sigma Lithium

Paladin re-starts production at Langer Heinrich Mine in Namibia

April 2nd | PDN.AX, PALAD

With a return to production, a strong balance sheet and supportive uranium fundamentals, Paladin is exceptionally well positioned to generate sustainable returns for all our stakeholders. -Ian Purdy, Paladin CEO

  • Paladin’s 75% owned LHM mine has already produced 43 million pounds of uranium concentrate (U308) but was shut down in 2018 due to low prices.
  • Focus will now shift to production ramp-up and building a finished product inventory, ahead of shipments to customers.
  • Paladin will update the market with 2025 production guidance in July.

    ASX Announcement: Paladin Energy

    FT: Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart builds rare-earth stakes in push for non-Chinese supply

    April 17th | MP, LYC.AX
    • Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting  has recently purchased a nearly 6 per cent stake in Australian rare-earth developer Lynas and US-listed MP Materials.
    • These two companies are by far the largest rare earths producers outside of China. Check out our Rare Earths Stock List.
    • Rinehart already holds a 10 per cent stake in Arafura Rare Earths.

    Article: Financial Times

    Lithium Americas raises $275 million for Thacker Pass

    April 18th | LAC

    The Company’s approximately $196 million of cash and cash equivalents, as of December 31, 2023, when combined with the net proceeds of the Offering of approximately $263 million (before giving effect to any exercise of the Over-Allotment Option), along with and after accounting for the funding from the Loan and the GM Tranche 2 Investment, are expected to result in the estimated remaining capital expenditures of approximately $2.736 billion for construction of Phase 1 as well as the Company’s 2024 operating budget being substantially fully funded. Lithium Americas

    • Shares fell 30% after the company announced it would sell 55m shares at $5 per share to raise $275 million.

    Press Release: Lithium Americas

    Piedmont Lithium Receives Mining Permit Approval For Carolina Lithium

    April 15th | PLL

    Located within both the renowned Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt and the U.S. Battery Belt, the Project is being designed as a fully integrated mining, spodumene concentrate, and lithium hydroxide manufacturing operation. There are currently no such integrated sites operating anywhere in the world, and the economic and environmental advantages of this strategy are compelling. -Keith Phillips, Piedmonth Lithium CEO

    • The project is being designed as a fully integrated mining, spodumene concentrate, and lithium hydroxide manufacturing operation.
    • Piedmont has had ‘extensive and ongoing dialogue with possible funding sources for Carolina Lithium’.

        Press Release: Piedmont Lithium

        Anglo American rejects $39 billion takeover offer from BHP

        April 26th | BHP, AAL.L

        The BHP proposal is opportunistic and fails to value Anglo American’s prospects, while significantly diluting the relative value upside participation of Anglo American’s shareholders relative to BHP’s shareholders. -Anglo American statement

        • BHP is now considering whether or not to make a larger offer.

            Press Release: Anglo American


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