Metis, formerly Manhattan Resources, reiterates future in renewables

METIS Energy, the company formerly known as Manhattan Resources, believes that it can chart a new direction with renewable energy projects in markets such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Bangladesh.

Its management has “sufficient expertise and resources” to evaluate investments in these countries, the watch-listed company said in response to queries from the Securities Investors Association (Singapore), or Sias, on Sunday (May 8).

Metis underwent a board shake-up early last year, when it was still a coal-mining company. Former Sembcorp Industries chief executive Tang Kin Fei became its chairman, while Sembcorp independent director Ajaib Hari Dass was appointed lead independent director. The company recently changed its name on Apr 28.

Metis is now repositioning itself as the renewable energy company in Asia and Australia, by providing sustainable power to 2 segments: commercial and industrial users and utility customers.

“The board and the management have the proven track record to deliver the utility-scale energy projects in Indonesia, the Philippines and Bangladesh, and their working knowledge and the skill sets complement each other as a team,” Metis said in its Sunday filing.

In October 2021, the company acquired Athena Energy Holdings, which has a presence in key renewable energy markets across Asia and Australia. In its FY2021 annual report, Metis (then Manhattan Resources) said that it is constructing 26MW of rooftop solar facilities to supply electricity to a unit of Huafu Fashion, a Vietnamese yarn producer.

Asked by Sias about the financial profile of Huafu and counterparty riks, Metis said that the manufacturer has a production capacity of up to 280,000 spindles of yarn and 20,000 tons of dyeing yarn.

The project construction was funded by responsAbility Investments, a Swiss sustainable asset manager that provided a US$14 million syndicated senior secured loan to Athena to finance projects that reduce carbon emissions in Vietnam.

“The 2 climate finance funds managed by responsAbility have carried out their independent assessments on the credit risks of Huafu,” Metis said in the filing.

Separately, Sias noted that Metis is seeking shareholder approval to adopt a new performance share scheme and a share option scheme. The association questioned if this is the appropriate time to approve the schemes, given that Metis has only just started on its new growth trajectory.

In response, the company cited the need to provide incentives for business growth. “The board is of the view that it is an appropriate time to approve the schemes to retain and align the key management for the common goal to transform the company into a leading renewable energy company in the region,” it said.

Shares of Metis closed flat at S$0.06 on Friday.

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