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Hazer Group Ltd: DEEP DIVE

Hazer Group on track to commercialise hydrogen and graphite production process

Hazer Group is the first listed Australian company to produce clean hydrogen.
Hazer Group on track to commercialise hydrogen and graphite production process
OVERVIEW: HZR The Big Picture
The Fluidised Bed Reactor Pilot Plant was relocated from Sydney to Perth in March
  • The company was granted its first Australian patent in April in addition to receiving two previous Australian Innovation patents in December 2018
  • Hazer relocated its Fluidised Bed Reactor (FBR) Pilot Plant from Sydney to Kwinana in March, which is being developed by Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN)
  • Mineral Resources also started the commissioning process of the Paddle Tube Reactor (PTR) Pilot Plant during the March-2019 quarter

What does Hazer Group do?

Hazer Group Ltd (ASX:HZR) was founded in 2010 to commercialise technology originally developed at the University of Western Australia and listed on the ASX in December 2015.

More than eight years has been spent developing the Hazer Process, which uses natural gas and unprocessed iron ore to create low-cost, low-emission clean hydrogen, considered to be a key fuel in the transition to low carbon economy.

In addition to the hydrogen product, the Hazer Process produces synthetic graphite used in lithium-ion batteries, lubrication and industrial applications.

The company is also developing the design for a demonstration plant and working towards scaling up the Hazer Process into larger commercial sized plants.

Hazer chairman Tim Goldsmith was a previous partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for more than 20 years and initiated a focus in 2002, which lead to PwC’s Australia China desk.

In April the company appointed chief executive officer Geoff Ward as managing director who previously served as director of leading corporate advisory firm Azure Capital.

Ward holds a Master of Business from the University of Western Australia and is a past winner of the WA Business News ‘40Under40’ award.

The company finished the March 2019 quarter demonstrating strong growth on technical and commercial fronts as well as maintaining a robust cash position.

With a market cap of about $31.6 million, the company continues to see progress suggesting that it is on course to meet its key technical and commercial milestones.

If Hazer can gain third party validation via these agreements investors will impute more value on Hazer’s ability to disrupt two global industries – the hydrogen and graphite markets.

At the end of the March 2019 quarter Hazer held a total of $7 million cash on hand.

What does Hazer Group own?

A successful pilot plant program in 2018 enabled Hazer to progress to the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study phase for its first commercial plant.

Hazer is working with potential partners and customers to secure contracts for its first large-scale commercial plant through 2019 and 2020.

The company is focused on securing a commercial demonstration plant (CDP) by mid-2019 with the beginning of operations to start in 2020.

The Hazer Process takes two cheap feedstocks (natural gas and iron ore) and uses these to generate two high-value, high-demand products (hydrogen and synthetic graphite) with global market applications. 

The core of Hazer’s technology is the use of iron ore as a low-cost catalyst for the gas decomposition reaction, which gives it a strong commercial advantage for accessing both hydrogen and high-quality graphite markets.

In April the company was granted with its first Australian patent titled ‘A process for producing hydrogen and graphitic carbon from hydrocarbons’.

Patents provide broad, enforceable protection for Hazer’s core technologies in Australia and remaining patent applications remain ongoing.

Inflection points

  • The company expects to complete the FBR plant testing in mid to late 2019
  • Commissioning activities of the MIN 1 tonne per annum pilot plant are ongoing with plans to be finalised within the coming months

“Significant step for Hazer to secure its patent rights”

Hazer’s chief executive officer Geoff Ward said: “It is a significant step for Hazer to secure its patent rights in Australia.

“This is the first granted standard patent in Hazer’s intellectual property portfolio protecting the Hazer process – a significant milestone for Hazer and its team.

“This granted standard patent, together with the certified innovation patents, provide a solid foundation for Hazer’s intellectual property position in Australia and protection to our commercial development strategy.”

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Hazer Group Ltd Timeline

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